Biotechnology company Aktis Oncology has signed a multi-target discovery collaboration agreement worth over $1.1bn with Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly) to develop targeted radiopharmaceuticals for the treatment of a variety of solid tumours.

Under the agreement, Lilly intends to generate anticancer radiopharmaceuticals using the miniprotein technology platform of Aktis Oncology.

As per the terms, Aktis Oncology will get a $60m upfront cash payment along with an equity investment from Lilly.

The biotechnology firm will also be entitled to get up to $1.1bn in potential milestones across the preclinical, clinical, regulatory, and commercialsation stages, in addition to tiered royalties.

In return, Lilly gets global rights to develop radiopharmaceutical therapeutic and diagnostic products discovered by Aktis Oncology, focusing on a defined set of targets selected by the former.  

Aktis Oncology president and CEO Matthew Roden said: “Our strategic collaboration with Lilly leverages Aktis’ unique miniprotein radiopharmaceutical platform capabilities to address novel targets, while delivering a safe and effective clinical profile.

“We are pleased to partner with Lilly in efforts to increase the number of patients that can derive meaningful clinical benefit from targeted radiopharmaceuticals.”

The partnership combines Aktis Oncology’s radiopharmaceutical platform with Lilly’s proficiency in oncology drug advancement and commercialisation.

Both firms aim to develop new and differentiated therapeutics for multiple types of solid tumours.

Founded by MPM Capital, Aktis Oncology has developed a programme that targets Nectin-4, a tumour-associated antigen present in urothelial and other cancers.

Lilly oncology president Jacob Van Naarden said: “This collaboration with Aktis Oncology builds upon our growing radiopharmaceutical capabilities and provides access to an exciting and innovative technology for creating important and differentiated radiopharmaceuticals.

“We look forward to collaborating with Aktis and utilising this emerging modality to bring forward meaningful new therapies for people with cancer.”

The latest agreement with Aktis Oncology follows Lilly’s previous investments in the radiopharma sector.

Last December, Lilly acquired POINT Biopharma Global in a deal worth around $1.4bn.