Eli Lilly shares plans to acquire Versanis Bio for $1.9bn

Eli Lilly and Versanis Bio have announced a definitive agreement for Lilly to acquire Versanis, a private clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focusing on the development of new medicines to treat cardiometabolic diseases.
Under the terms of the companies’ agreement, Versanis shareholders could receive up to $1.925bn, including an upfront payment as well as subsequent payments dependent on the achievement of some development and sales milestones.
Versanis’ lead asset is bimagrumab, a monoclonal antibody that binds activin type 2 A and B receptors to bloc activin and myostatin signaling. This antibody is currently being evaluated in the phase 2b BELIEVE study, both alone and in combination with semaglutide in adults who are overweight or obese. Ruth Gimeno, PhD, group vice president of diabetes, obesity and cardiometabolic research at Lilly, commented: “Lilly is committed to investigating potential new medicines to fight cardiometabolic diseases, including obesity, a chronic disease that affects over 100 million Americans. By unifying the knowledge and expertise in incretin biology at Lilly with the deep understanding of activin biology at Versanis, we aim to harness the potential benefits of such combinations for patients.”
Mark Pruzanski, MD, Versanis’ chairman and CEO, added: “It has been a privilege for our team to advance bimagrumab to address one of the greatest health crises of our time. As a global leader developing life-changing medicines, Lilly is ideally positioned to realise the potential of bimagrumab in combination with its incretin therapies to benefit people living with cardiometabolic diseases.”