David Ricks, CEO, Eli Lilly
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
Eli Lilly on Tuesday said it struck a $2.4 billion deal to acquire Dice Therapeutics in a bid to bulk up its treatment portfolio for immune-related diseases.
Eli Lilly will pay $48 per share in cash to buy Dice, representing around a 40% premium to where the San Francisco-based company’s shares closed on Friday. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.
“In combination with its novel technology and expertise in drug discovery, DICE’s talented workforce and passion for innovation will enhance our efforts to make life better for people living with devastating autoimmune diseases,” said Patrik Jonsson, Eli Lilly executive vice president, in a press release.
Dice is a biopharmaceutical company that uses a proprietary technology platform to develop new oral therapeutic drugs for autoimmune diseases, in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks a person’s own cells instead of protecting them. Auto-immune diseases can causes pain, fatigue, dizziness, depression and rashes, among other symptoms.
There are more than 100 known autoimmune diseases, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Dice’s lead drug is in a mid-stage trial for an immune-related skin condition called psoriasis.
Eli Lilly’s immunology portfolio includes drugs like Taltz, which treats plaque psoriasis, and Olumiant, a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Last year, Taltz raked in $2.48 billion, while Olumiant generated $830.5 million in sales.