Lilly Oncology: Innovation Through Collaboration
Choose wisely. It's a mantra that Sue Mahony, president of Lilly Oncology, has at the forefront of her thinking. One wise choice: hiring Dr. Levi Garraway to join her leadership team at the beginning of 2017 as senior vice president, global development and medical affairs. Another choice: working with Garraway to refine the oncology research and development (R&D) strategy and prioritize the early and mid-phase pipeline to focus on molecules that have the greatest potential to make a meaningful difference to patients.
Fast forward to today: These choices are paying off, with Lilly’s portfolio focused on molecules that have the potential to be what we call foundational agents, including potential next-generation clinical immunotherapy assets, all with clear patient tailoring plans. These include molecules that come from within and external to Lilly.
On May 10, 2018, we entered into a merger agreement to acquire ARMO BioSciences, Inc., a company that is developing a pipeline of novel, proprietary product candidates designed to activate the immune system of cancer patients to recognize and potentially eradicate tumors. Then, on May 14, 2018, we announced an agreement to acquire AurKa Pharma, Inc., a company established by TVM Capital Life Science to develop oncology compound AK-01, an Aurora kinase A inhibitor that was originally discovered at Lilly. The compound is a potential first-in-class asset that AurKa Pharma is studying in Phase 1 clinical trials in multiple types of solid tumors.
These acquisitions add promising assets to our portfolio of innovative oncology medicines and are a clear example of how choosing wisely is making a difference in how Lilly Oncology develops and delivers breakthroughs for people living with cancer.