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Bachem and Eli Lilly link up to advance oligonucleotide products

The agreement will see the two companies expand current oligonucleotide technologies.

Bachem – the Swiss pharmaceutical company – has partnered with Eli Lilly, to further advance the development of oligonucleotide-based drug substances.

The agreement, which stretches across seven years, will witness the two companies expand current oligonucleotide technologies, while also developing new processes and contributing to global manufacturing capacity.

As part of the collaboration, Bachem will provide both engineering infrastructure and expertise to implement Lilly’s oligonucleotide manufacturing technology. Bachem will also provide R&D and production personnel at its facilities in Bubendorf, allowing for the development of GMP-grade material for Lilly’s oligonucleotide-based medicines.

Meanwhile, Lilly has pledged to place a range of manufacturing projects with Bachem over the ensuing years. This part of the deal is a response to material supply demands which are expected to rapidly increase after the implementation of the manufacturing technology. Indeed, the two companies predict that the annual order volume could reach up to 100m Swiss francs, provided Bachem reaches certain milestones and definite volumes are ordered by Lilly.

Thomas Meier, CEO at Bachem, is optimistic about the partnership: “We are excited about the prospects that our strategic collaboration with Lilly has for innovating how oligonucleotides are manufactured. Investigational medicines, based on synthetically accessible oligonucleotides, hold great promise for patients suffering from a variety of diseases. For this reason, we are proud to collaborate with Lilly to unlock the full potential of this new modality.”

“This collaboration between Bachem and Lilly is an example of how the biopharma and CDMO industries can work together on innovative medicines. Our aim with this particular collaboration is to jointly develop tailored engineering and equipment solutions for oligonucleotides, thus improving quality and reducing manufacturing cost and time to market,” he added.

Bachem is an innovation-driven company specialising in the development of peptides and oligonucleotides. Eli Lilly is best known for being the first company to manufacture and mass-produce Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine and for introducing the first commercially available insulin.