There's one sure way to get rid of competitors for your lead drug: Buy them. Yesterday, Eli Lilly
In exchange for $35 million up front and the possibility of future milestone payments and royalties on its sales, Lilly in-licensed TransPharma's ViaDerm-hPTH (1-34), which is currently in a phase 2 head-to-head study against Forteo. Both drugs contain versions of a hormone that can help with osteoporosis, but Forteo is a once-a-day injection, while TransPharma's drug is a patch.
The osteoporosis drug market has heated up in recent years, with numerous compounds winning approval to help treat the condition. Roche and partner GlaxoSmithKline
Forteo has been on the market in the U.S. as an osteoporosis treatment since 2002. Last year, Lilly's Forteo revenue rose 19% to a tad more than $700 million, so even stealing a portion of Forteo's market share would have been meaningful for TransPharma. By acquiring this potential competitor, though, Lilly is able to turn what would have been yet another Forteo rival into another way to woo patients put off by Forteo's injections. All in all, not a bad deal.