Bachem and Lilly Partner on Oligonucleotide APIs

27.04.2022 - Bachem, a Swiss specialist in the development manufacture and manufacture of peptides and oligonucleotides, has entered into a strategic collaboration with major drugmaker Eli Lilly.

Under the terms of the agreement, Bachem will develop and manufacture APIs based on Lilly’s novel oligonucleotide technology. As well as engineering infrastructure and expertise, Bachem will also provide R&D and production personnel at its facilities in Bubendorf, Switzerland to provide GMP-grade material for Lilly’s oligonucleotide-based investigational medicines.

Lilly has committed to placing manufacturing projects with Bachem over the next seven years, with annual orders potentially reaching about 100 million Swiss francs, depending on Bachem reaching certain milestones and definite volumes ordered by Lilly.

Commenting on the collaboration, Bachem CEO Thomas Meier said: “We are excited about the prospects that our strategic collaboration with Lilly has for innovating how oligonucleotides are manufactured. Investigational medicines based on synthetically accessible oligonucleotides hold great promise for patients suffering from a variety of diseases and we are proud to collaborate with Lilly in unlocking the potential of this new modality.”

He added: “Our aim with this collaboration is to jointly develop tailored engineering and equipment solutions for oligonucleotides, thus improving quality and reducing manufacturing cost and time to market.”

Bachem explained that interest and market demand for oligonucleotide therapeutics has grown since their emergence as a new drug modality two decades ago. Initially focusing on rare diseases, oligonucleotide therapeutics are moving into more common chronic indications such as asthma, diabetes, chronic renal failure, as well as cardiovascular and liver diseases. Consequently, the company has expanded its manufacturing capacity and expertise in large-scale APIs.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist