Verve Therapeutics has witnessed a significant boost in its shares, rising by 24% to $11.69, following an expansion of its partnership with pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly. This development comes after a period of struggle, with the stock hitting a 52-week low of $8.52 on Oct. 23 and experiencing an overall decline of 68% in the past year.
As part of this collaboration, Beam Therapeutics has sold certain product rights to Eli Lilly regarding Verve’s in vivo gene-editing programs focused on cardiovascular diseases. These programs specifically target PCSK9 and ANGPTL3, along with an undisclosed third cardiovascular disease target.
Verve’s product candidates, VERVE-101 and VERVE-102, for PCSK9, and VERVE-201 for ANGPTL3, have been designed to effectively and permanently reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in patients with or at risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, which is the most prevalent form of cardiovascular disease.
With this recent agreement, Lilly now possesses the product rights previously held by Beam for PCSK9 and ANGPTL3, enabling them to opt in for 33% of worldwide development expenses. They also have the opportunity to jointly commercialize and share profits and expenses related to commercialization in the U.S. on a 50/50 basis. However, Verve retains all product rights for the PCSK9 and ANGPTL3 programs outside the U.S.
It is important to note that under this collaboration, Verve maintains full control over the development and commercialization of all collaboration products. Additionally, Lilly has acquired Beam’s right to participate in funding and sharing potential profits for a third undisclosed target on similar terms.
This expansion of the partnership between Verve Therapeutics and Eli Lilly follows an exclusive research collaboration they entered into earlier this year, which focused on advancing Verve’s preclinical stage in vivo gene-editing program targeting lipoprotein.