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Chugai Pharmaceutical Signs Agreement on Combinatorial Chemistry

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INDIANAPOLIS--Earlier this month, Eli Lilly here announced a deal with Tokyo-based Chugai Pharmaceutical in which the American firm will share proprietary combinatorial chemistry expertise in exchange for up-front fees, milestone payments, and royalties on the first two products that reach the market as a result of the collaboration. Among the techniques and technologies that will be shared are some gained as a result of Lilly's 1994 acquisition of Sphinx Pharmaceuticals, which significantly expanded Lilly's competence in combinatorial chemistry.

Chugai will implement the collaboration at its Chugai Bio pharmaceuticals subsidiary, an R&D facility based in San Diego, Calif., that was established in 1995. "The technologies that Lilly and Sphinx have developed will enable Chugai to significantly speed its discovery programs," commented Takeshi Yoshida, managing director and executive general manager of Chugai's R&D group.

August Watanabe, Lilly's executive vice-president for science and technology, noted that the deal "further builds upon our efforts to create important strategic relationships with companies that share goals of discovering and developing innovative products consumers need. Combinatorial chemistry has enabled Lilly to increase its discovery efforts and will help Chugai meet its expanding needs."

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