Eli Lilly & Co. has joined with Care Capital and NovaQuest Capital to create a new critical care medicines company called BioCritica. Based in central Indiana, the biotech firm has U.S. rights to Lilly’s antisepsis drug Xigris.
BioCritica will take over U.S. development and marketing of Xigris, a recombinant glycoprotein approved in the U.S. in late 2001 and in Europe in 2002. At that time, Lilly was banking on Xigris—along with older products Evista, Gemzar, and Zyprexa—for its growth. But Xigris sales peaked at $215 million in 2005 and by last year were down to $104 million.
“We are confident that BioCritica will help realize the full potential for Xigris, while working to develop new critical care medicines,” Lilly CEO John C. Lechleiter said when announcing the venture.
In addition to Xigris in the U.S., BioCritica gets rights to potentially acquire several Lilly compounds in preclinical development and an option to possibly acquire rights to Xigris outside the U.S. In return, Lilly gets an equity stake in BioCritica, a supply agreement, and royalties on U.S. sales of Xigris.
Indiana Economic Development Corp. and the state’s public-private life sciences initiative, BioCrossroads, are lending support as well. IEDC has offered up to $2.9 million in tax credits and $175,000 in training grants. BioCritica expects to create about 70 jobs once it finds a headquarters site.