Eli Lilly's $800-mn Avid deal boosts diagnostic capabilities

Eli Lilly & Co, the world's 10th largest pharmaceutical company, yesterday revealed that it would buy Avid Radiopharmaceuticals Inc, a developer of molecules and compounds used to detect and track chronic diseases, in a deal that could be worth up to $800 million.
Founded in 2004, privately held Avid is a developer of new molecular imaging agents that aid medical management of chronic human diseases.

Avid's pipeline of imaging compounds has the potential to dramatically alter the clinical course of Alzheimer's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson's disease and diabetes mellitus. It helps to detect the first stages of pathological change, allowing early treatment and management of people at risk - before symptoms of disease can develop.

Although Philadelphia-based Avid currently has no drugs on the market, it has recently submitted a marketing application to the US Food and Drug Administration for Florbetapir F18, an injectable drug that can be used to detect amyloid plaque in the brain.

Eli Lilly said that Florbetapir, used with positron emission tomography (PET) technology is being assessed for the ability to detect beta-amyloid plaque deposits in living patients.

Florbetapir was the first beta-amyloid imaging compound to enter multi-center, IND clinical studies in the US, and has now been studied in more than a dozen trials in over 700 subjects ranging from cognitively normal individuals to those with Alzheimer's dementia.

In addition to the pivotal Phase III Image-to-Autopsy study, other clinical studies are also being conducted in the EU, North and South America, Australia and Asia.