Eli Lilly to acquire small California biotech for $1.1 billion

Eli Lilly will acquire Dermira, a small Menlo Park, Calif.-based drugmaker that specializes in chronic skin conditions, for $1.1 billion, the company announced Jan. 10. 

With the deal, Eli Lilly gains a drug called lebrikizumab, designed to treat eczema. If successful in phase 3 clinical trials, the drug could compete against Dupixent, a commercial blockbuster for Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, according to STAT. Midstage trials showed that Eli Lilly's new drug could be more effective than Dupixent and would require less frequent dosing. 

Eli Lilly will also get Qbrexza, a drug developed by Dermira to treat excessive underarm sweating. 

The all-cash deal is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2020. 

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