Lilly completes Avid buy; florbetapir gets FDA priority review

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Eli Lilly has completed the acquisition of Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, which is developing molecular imaging compounds intended for the detection and monitoring of chronic diseases. Its florbetapir compound has been accepted for FDA priority review.

Under the terms of the definitive merger agreement, the Indianapolis-based Lilly acquired all outstanding shares of the Philadelphia-based Avid for an upfront payment of $300 million, subject to adjustment based on existing cash on hand at closing. According to Lilly, Avid stockholders will be eligible for up to $500 million in additional payments contingent upon potential future regulatory and commercial milestones for florbetapir.

Florbetapir F 18 (18F-AV-45), used with PET, is being assessed for the capability to detect beta-amyloid plaque deposits in living patients. Florbetapir is a beta-amyloid imaging compound that has undergone multi-center, IND clinical studies in the U.S., and has now been studied in more than a dozen trials in more than 700 subjects ranging from cognitively normal individuals to those with Alzheimer's dementia.

Lilly and Avid also announced that the FDA has assigned priority review designation to the marketing application for florbetapir. The Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee of the FDA will hold a meeting to discuss florbetapir's new drug application on Jan. 20, 2011.

The impact of the acquisition will be reflected in Lilly's fourth quarter 2010 financial statements. The transaction, first announced Nov. 8, has received the approval of Avid stockholders and clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. All other closing conditions have been met.