Lilly Enters Gene Editing Collaboration with Verve Therapeutics

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BP Elements, BioPharm International's BP Elements, July 2023, Volume 2, Issue 7

Eli Lilly & Company will pay Verve Therapeutics up to $525 million to advance a lipoprotein gene editing research program.

Verve Therapeutics, a clinical-stage genetic medicines company, announced an exclusive research collaboration with Eli Lilly & Company on June 15, 2023. The deal, which centers around Verve’s preclinical stage, in vivo gene editing program targeting lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)), will see Lilly take over development, manufacturing, and commercialization of Verve’s Lp(a) program following Phase I clinical development. Lilly will pay Verve $60 million upfront, with an additional $465 million plus tiered royalties contingent on various research, development, and commercial milestones.

According to a company press release, Lp(a) is a genetically validated, independent risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), ischemic stroke, thrombosis, and aortic stenosis; this increased risk is most pronounced in individuals with very high Lp(a) concentrations. Verve’s LP(a) gene editing program is evaluated as a treatment for ASCVD.

“Verve was created with a singular focus to protect the world from ASCVD by developing single-course gene editing medicines that address the underlying causal drivers of the disease. Lp(a) is validated as one of these key drivers, and as such, this program represents another important step in our efforts to transform the care of ASCVD,” said Sekar Kathiresan, co-founder and CEO of Verve Therapeutics, in the release. “Blood concentrations of Lp(a) are determined almost entirely by inheritance, and unfortunately, lifestyle and currently approved lipid-lowering therapies have minimal to no impact. In patients with established ASCVD and elevated blood Lp(a), we believe there is a substantial opportunity for a single-course gene editing medicine to permanently lower Lp(a) levels, and we are thrilled to have joined forces with Lilly, an industry leader in cardiometabolic disease, to accelerate this program toward patients.”


“We are pleased to establish this collaboration with Verve, a company uniquely positioned to develop gene editing medicines for common cardiovascular conditions such as elevated Lp(a), a lipoprotein particle that has been established as an important causal and modifiable driver of ASCVD,” said Ruth Gimeno, group vice-president, Diabetes, Obesity, and Cardiometabolic Research, Eli Lilly & Company, in the release. “We look forward to working with Verve to develop a much-needed treatment option for patients with elevated levels of Lp(a).”

Source: Verve Therapeutics