12:00 AM
Nov 15, 2010
 |  BioCentury  |  Strategy

Lilly avid for diagnostics

Lilly acquires Avid to build near-term diagnostics revenue

Eli Lilly and Co.'s acquisition of Avid Radiopharmaceuticals Inc. represents the first significant step in the pharma's efforts to build a diagnostics revenue stream. While Lilly is interested in companion diagnostics, it says this deal is primarily to get Avid's florbetapir, which could generate near-term revenues as a stand-alone beta amyloid imaging agent.

Avid President and CEO Daniel Skovronsky told BioCentury an immediate value of florbetapir is to rule out Alzheimer's disease. Even though there is not yet enough scientific evidence to say imaging beta amyloid can positively diagnose AD, florbetapir could speed time to intervention and improve therapeutic choices and outcomes for patients showing signs of cognitive impairment that are not due to AD.

"Lilly is working to provide diagnostics that enable speed of intervention, improve diagnostic accuracy and inform therapeutic choice," pharma spokesperson Christine Van Marter told BioCentury. "The acquisition of Avid will advance Lilly's vision of providing improved outcomes for individual patients."

Florbetapir, an imaging agent labeled with fluorine 18 (F-18) that binds to amyloid plaques, is the most advanced such agent in development. Avid has submitted an NDA to FDA. Neither Avid nor Lilly would disclose when the application was submitted or whether the agency had accepted it for filing.

In July, Avid said florbetapir met the co-primary endpoints in the U.S. Phase III Image-to-Autopsy trial. In the first 35 patients to come to autopsy, there was a significant correlation between beta amyloid levels shown in PET images taken after patients received a single IV dose of florbetapir and cortical beta amyloid levels...

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