Hyderabad's Suven gets first payoff from Eli Lilly tie-up

Hyderabad-based biopharmaceuticals manufacturer Suven Life Sciences Ltd has received the first ''milestone'' payment from Eli Lilly & Co of the US as their drug discovery collaboration has achieved a positive outcome, Suven announced in a statement on Monday.

"The milestone was achieved with the identification and selection of a first lead compound to be advanced into 'lead optimisation phase' of pre-clinical development," Venkat Jasti, chairman and chief executive officer, Suven Life Sciences, said in a press release.

The Hyderabad-based company had entered into drug discovery collaboration with Eli Lilly in 2008 to jointly discover and develop treatment for central nervous system disorders.

Under the terms of the agreement, Eli Lilly would undertake the clinical development of the selected 'candidate/s' and their commercialisation globally. The American company would have the full ownership of the candidates developed under this collaboration, while Suven would receive ongoing research payments and preclinical milestones.

In addition, the contract provides a substantial long-term upside for Suven through potential payments for successful milestones achieved during clinical development and royalties on worldwide sales if new drugs are commercialised, the statement said.

"What we have received is not much in terms of dollars. But it is a milestone to prove that we are good at drug discovery and we are also good at collaborative research," Jasti said in a later interview.