Lilly boosts diabetes portfolio with Sigilon buy

Eli Lilly will acquire all shares of Sigilon Therapeutics for $34.6 million to gain access to its cell therapies for diabetes.

Millie Nelson, Editor

June 30, 2023

2 Min Read
Lilly boosts diabetes portfolio with Sigilon buy

Eli Lilly will acquire all shares of Sigilon Therapeutics for $34.6 million to gain access to its cell therapies for diabetes.

Under the terms of the deal, Lilly will pay Siglion $34.6 million up front with the potential pay-out totalling to $309.6 million, dependent on specific regulatory and developmental milestones.

“Despite significant advancement in treatment for people living with type 1 diabetes, many continue to live with a high disease burden every day,” said Ruth Gimeno, group vice president, diabetes, obesity and cardiometabolic research at Lilly.



“By combining Sigilon’s talent and expertise in cell therapy with the knowledge and skills of Lilly’s research and development teams, we will enhance opportunities to create innovative islet cell therapy solutions to improve the care of people living with diabetes.”

The pair have worked together since 2018 when Lilly paid Sigilon $63 million to advance encapsulated cell therapies for the possible treatment of type 1 diabetes, including SIG-002.

Sigilon uses its Shielded Living Therapeutics cell therapy platform to aim to develop cures for patients with a wide range of acute and chronic diseases. The product candidates are non-viral engineered cell-based therapies, which have been designed to manufacture various therapeutic molecules or functions that could be absent or deficient in individuals with diseases like diabetes.

The cells are then taken by Sigilon’s Afibromer biomaterials solution to protect them from immune rejection.

“This agreement represents the culmination of the important work led by our research and development team to continue advancing SIG-002 at Lilly – the preeminent leader in the treatment of diabetes,” said Rogerio Vivaldi, CEO of Sigilon.

Lilly’s Type 2 diabetes medication Mounjaro (tirzepatide) received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2022 and pulled in $187 million in its first full quarter, and a further $279.2 in Lilly’s Q4.  In February, the firm announced  it expects to double incretin capacity by the end of 2023, driving the launch of the once-weekly Mounjaro beyond the US.

Subject to customary closing conditions, the acquisition of Sigilon is anticipated to close in the third quarter of this year.

About the Author(s)

Millie Nelson

Editor, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering global biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing news and host of the Voices of Biotech podcast.

I am currently living and working in London but I grew up in Lincolnshire (UK) and studied in Newcastle (UK).

Got a story? Feel free to email me at [email protected]

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