Hutchison MediPharma (HMPL) Signed Landmark Strategic Partnership Agreement with Eli Lilly & Company

Hutchison MediPharma (HMPL) has signed a landmark strategic partnership agreement with Eli Lilly & Company and has a celebration ceremony in Shanghai on September 18, 2007

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HMPL/Lilly formally established a strategic partnership to develop innovative medicine for the global market. Under the partnership agreement, HMPL scientists and Lilly team will collaborate on the discovery and development of pharmaceutical compounds focused on targets in oncology and inflammation. The research partnership leverages the strengths and expertise of the two companies while taking advantage of the unique opportunities available in China to expedite the drug discovery process and reduce overall cost.

Hutchison MediPharma will receive an upfront payment and annual R&D support fees as well as potential discovery and development milestone payments depending on the candidate —  up to a range of US $20 million to US $29 million per candidate, and potential royalties on worldwide sales of any commercialized products resulting from the collaboration.

Dr. Samantha Du, Chief Scientific Officer for Chi-Med and Managing Director of Hutchison MediPharma Limited, commented on the collaboration agreement: “This is a landmark deal for both Hutchison MediPharma. At Hutchison MediPharma, we aim to discover and develop innovative medicines to meet global market needs with big Pharma quality, biotech speed and China’s attractive cost base. We have built a strong drug discovery and development platform focused on oncology and auto-immune indications in the past few years. Today’s announcement further validates our business model and capabilities. Lilly is a recognised global leader in new drug discovery and development. We are proud to have the opportunity to collaborate with Lilly.”

“Lilly is pleased to partner with Hutchison MediPharma on this groundbreaking research initiative”, said Dr. William W. Chin, M.D., Vice President of discovery research and clinical investigation for Lilly. “Hutchison MediPharma is clearly a leader in China’s R&D arena. They have demonstrated their R&D quality through a successful pilot program conducted with Lilly. We believe Hutchison MediPharma has the strategic interest and capabilities to advance these Lilly molecules, and we are excited to explore this innovative research collaboration model with them.”

This is the first such kind of deal in China Pharmaceutical R&D history. For the first time, a western big pharma put its internal drug discovery programs into a China based R&D company.

Lilly partnership validates the HMPL business model and quality of drug development conducted in China. For China’s pharmaceutical R&D, this represents a new model of innovative drug discovery & development partnership. This kind of risk/reward and IP sharing model could quickly advance China’s new drug development capability to a global level.