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Eli Lilly And Co (NYSE:LLY) shares continue to represent a force of market leadership. The stock is within a couple percent of all-time highs amid one of the sharpest pullbacks in the biotech space in years. That’s called resilience. One of the reasons for this resilience is clearly the company’s strong strategic portfolio. To further build that narrative, the company just announced a multi-year collaboration focused on the discovery and development of immuno-oncology therapies.

According to the release, “The collaboration seeks to discover novel cancer targets utilizing NextCure’s proprietary FIND-IO platform. Under the terms of the agreement, Lilly and NextCure will each receive options to exclusively license antibodies resulting from the collaboration. NextCure will receive an upfront payment of $25 million and will be eligible for development and commercial milestones and royalty payments, should Lilly successfully develop and commercialize new cancer therapies resulting from the collaboration. Additionally, Lilly has made a $15 million equity investment in NextCure.”

Eli Lilly And Co (NYSE:LLY) bills itself as a company that discovers, develops, manufactures, and markets pharmaceutical products worldwide.

The company operates through two segments, Human Pharmaceutical Products and Animal Health Products. It offers endocrinology products for the treatment of diabetes; osteoporosis in postmenopausal women and men; and human growth hormone deficiency and pediatric growth conditions.

The company also provides neuroscience products for the treatment of depressive disorder, diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain, anxiety disorder, fibromyalgia, and chronic musculoskeletal pain; schizophrenia; attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder; obsessive-compulsive disorder, bulimia nervosa, and panic disorder; and positron emission tomography imaging of beta-amyloid neurotic plaques in adult brains, as well as immunology products to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition, it offers oncology products to treat non-small cell lung, colorectal, head and neck, pancreatic, metastatic breast, ovarian, bladder, and metastatic gastric cancers, as well as malignant pleural mesothelioma; and cardiovascular products to treat erectile dysfunction and benign prostatic hyperplasia; and migraine.

Further, the company provides animal health products, such as cattle feed additives; protein supplements for cows; leanness and performance enhancers for swine and cattle; antibiotics to treat respiratory and other diseases in cattle, swine, and poultry; anticoccidial agents for poultry use; and chewable tablets that kill fleas and prevent heartworm diseases.

Additionally, it offers vaccines to prevent bordetella, Lyme disease, rabies, and parvovirus. The company has collaboration agreements with Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd.; Incyte Corporation; Pfizer Inc.; AstraZeneca; and Nektar Therapeutics, as well as has strategic collaboration with Sigilon Therapeutics.

 

Movin’ On Up

As noted above, LLY just announced a multi-year collaboration focused on the discovery and development of immuno-oncology therapies.

The stock is up on the news. Overall, shares of LLY have rallied about 3% over the past week. That sets up an interesting context for the action tomorrow.

“The emerging field of immuno-oncology is offering new treatment options and hope to cancer patients,” said Greg Plowman, M.D., Ph.D., vice president of oncology research at Lilly. “Through this collaboration, we hope to leverage NextCure’s discovery platform to expand the reach of this class of groundbreaking treatments by identifying novel cancer targets that could enable the development of a new generation of immuno-oncology therapies.”

“Partnering with Lilly, a world leader in drug development, to advance the next generation immuno-oncology therapies is important validation of our FIND-IO discovery platform and our approach to discovering and developing immunomedicines,” said Michael Richman, NextCure’s president & CEO. “FIND-IO has the potential to identify and rapidly translate immune cell interactions into disease modifying immunomedicines. We look forward to working with Lilly to discover novel targets that will further enhance both companies’ growing immuno-oncology pipelines.”

Eli Lilly And Co (NYSE:LLY) pulled in sales of $6.4B in its last reported quarterly financials, representing top line growth of 9.1%. In addition, the company is battling some balance sheet hurdles, with cash levels struggling to keep up with current liabilities ($6.9B against $13.1B, respectively).