By Colin Kellaher


Eli Lilly & Co. Thursday said it formed an exclusive cancer collaboration with Kumquat Biosciences that could be worth more than $2 billion to the drug discovery and development startup.

Eli Lilly said it will work with Kumquat to discover, develop and commercialize potential novel small molecules that stimulate tumor-specific immune responses.

The Indianapolis drugmaker said Kumquat will use its small molecule immuno-oncology platform to discover novel clinical candidates, while Eli Lilly has the option to select a certain number of candidates for further development and commercialization.

Eli Lilly said Kumquat will receive an initial $70 million, consisting of a cash upfront payment and an equity investment, and can earn more than $2 billion in potential milestone payments, along with royalties on sales.

Kumquat, launched in 2019, previously raised more than $100 million in funding from investors including Lilly Asia Ventures.


Write to Colin Kellaher at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 29, 2021 10:01 ET (14:01 GMT)

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