Lilly takes full ownership of biotech company Protomer Technologies


Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly) has taken full ownership of California-based biotech company Protomer Technologies in a deal that is potentially worth more than $1 billion based on achieving future development and commercial milestones.

Protomer Technologies has developed a peptide- and protein-engineering platform for identifying and synthesizing molecules that can sense glucose or other endogenous modulators of protein activity.

The chemical biology-based platform facilitates the development of therapeutic peptides and proteins with tunable activity that can be regulated by using small molecules. Protomer Technologies is said to have used the approach for advancing a portfolio of therapeutic candidates, which include glucose-responsive insulins that can sense sugar levels in the blood and activate automatically as required right through the day.

Lilly takes full ownership of biotech company Protomer Technologies

Lilly takes full ownership of biotech company Protomer Technologies. Photo courtesy of Momoneymoproblemz/

Alborz Mahdavi – CEO and founder of Protomer Technologies said: “We are excited to join Lilly, a leader in diabetes therapies, and advance our science with their support to better serve the needs of patients. This transaction validates our team’s accomplishments, and we look forward to continuing our important work together with Lilly.”

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Lilly had previously led an investment round in Protomer Technologies alongside the JDRF T1D Fund for a 14% stake.

Ruth Gimeno – vice president, diabetes research and clinical investigation at Lilly said: “Lilly has long strived to make life better for people living with diabetes and we have a continued determination to provide real solutions, including innovation in insulin therapy. Glucose-sensing insulin is the next frontier and has the potential to revolutionize the treatment and quality of life of people with diabetes by dramatically improving both therapeutic efficacy and safety of insulin therapy.

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“Protomer’s glucose-sensing insulin program, based on its proprietary molecular engineering of protein sensors (MEPS) platform, is showing significant promise and Lilly is excited to enhance our diabetes pipeline with the company’s innovative technology.”

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