December 19, 2014 / 6:57 AM / 5 years ago

Eli Lilly and Adocia agree to develop fast-acting insulin

PARIS (Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly and French biotech Adocia said on Friday they agreed a worldwide licensing partnership to develop an ultra-rapid insulin to treat patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

The fast-acting insulin, called BioChaperone Lispro, is currently in early-stage Phase Ib studies and aims to control glucose levels better during and after meals.

Under the deal, Adocia will receive an upfront fee of $50 million, potential future payments of up to $280 million if BioChaperone Lispro reaches certain development and regulatory milestones, and sales milestones of up to $240 million, the companies said in a statement.

Lilly will also pay royalties on sales of the drug, if approved, and reimburse Adocia for some of its research and development expenses, for an unspecified amount.

Shares in Adocia jumped 40 percent on the news, trading at 37.70 euros by 0819 GMT (3.19 a.m. EST).

Drugmakers Novo Nordisk, Sanofi and Eli Lilly & Co are fiercely fighting for share of the global market for diabetes treatments, worth over $40 billion and growing as over-eating and lack of exercise fuel an epidemic of Type 2 diabetes.

An estimated 387 million people worldwide have diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation, with Type 2 diabetes, often associated with obesity, accounting for 90 percent to 95 percent of all cases.

Diabetics have inadequate blood sugar control, which can lead to complications including nerve and kidney damage. Worldwide deaths from the disease are running at over 5 million a year.

Editing by Blaise Robinson and James Regan

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