Dartmouth-based Immuno-Metabolic IP Powers Eli Lilly and ImmuNext Deal


Building Indiana reports that powerhouse Eli Lilly has inked a global licensing and research collaboration with ImmuNext, Inc. to study preclinical novel targets that could lead to identification of new medicines for autoimmune diseases by regulating immune cell metabolism.  Lilly’s VP of immunology declared “immunology is an important area of research for Lilly, and we seek novel targets that could develop into new medicines for patients suffering with autoimmune diseases.”

Term Sheet

  • Lilly to pay ImmuNext a$40 million upfront payment
  • ImmuNext eligible for up to $565 million in development and commercialization milestones
  • Tiered royalties ranging from mid-single to low-double digits on product sales upon regulatory agency approval
  • ImmuNext grans Lilly worldwide exclusive license to develop and commercialize the novel immunometabolism  target
  • A 3-year research collaboration to support the target’s development

This transaction hasn’t closed yet and subject to the standard due diligence and close out.

ImmuNext Background

ImmuNext, based in New Hampshire, develops compounds on the cutting edge of immunotherapy for cancer and autoimmune diseases.  They have a clinical state program with VISTA, a checkpoint regulatory, and pre-clinical programs focused on the development of antibodies that target novel immune-metabolic proteins.

ImmuNext was founded in 2010 arising out of Dartmouth with $425,000 in research funding.  Dr. Randolph Noelle, founder and Chief Scientific Officer, is a professor in the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. His research has identified a number of immuno-modulatory targets and related drug candidates. The lead ImmuNext program is based on Dr. Noelle’s research on VISTA, a novel checkpoint regulator in the B7 family. VISTA was founded in Noelle’s lab and is one of the targets that was licensed from Dartmouth to ImmuNext to develop for therapeutic use in cancer and autoimmunity.