Lilly partners with China’s Yabao on diabetes drug


Yabao Pharmaceutical Co, Inc. (Shanghai Stock Exchange 600351), a leading pharmaceutical company in China, today announced a strategic partnership with Eli Lilly and Company to co-develop Lilly’s leading glucokinase activator (GKA), LY2608204. Lilly’s GKA has completed Phase 1 studies in the US in addition to extensive pre-clinical development.

Diabetes is a disease of great unmet need in China and worldwide. Glucokinase activators have the potential to differentiate from other anti-diabetic agents by exerting two potentially beneficial actions: promoting insulin secretion and decreasing glucose production by the liver. As a result, glucokinase activators may exert powerful anti-hyperglycemic effects, even in patients who are relatively unresponsive to other oral drugs.

Under the terms of the agreement, Yabao receives rights to develop and commercialize the GKA compound in China while Lilly retains rights in all other markets. The parties will collaborate to determine a strategic development plan for China, and Yabao will initially be responsible to perform and fund all development, with Lilly having future buy-in options for China. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“Lilly’s GKA is an optimized molecule with potential to be best-in-class. Yabao is pleased to be collaborating with Lilly, a global leader in diabetes, to progress the program to its ultimate potential.” commented Dr. Peng Wang, President R&D, Yabao Pharmaceutical Co., “This ground-breaking partnership with Lilly is an important sign of Yabao’s growing commitment to partner the best science and leverage Yabao’s strong clinical and regulatory capabilities to bring novel pharmaceuticals to patients suffering from serious diseases in China.”