Eli Lilly to Buy Gene Therapy Company Akouos for $487 Million

Reuters staff

October 19, 2022

(Reuters) -Eli Lilly and Co will acquire genetic medicine developer Akouos Inc for about $487 million in cash as the drugmaker aims to bolster its arsenal of gene therapies that target a range of disabilities.

Shares of Akouos, which is developing gene therapies for sensorineural hearing loss, soared 84% to trade 40 cents above Lilly's offer price of $12.50 before the opening bell.

The deal also includes a payment of $3 per share contingent on certain events related to drug trials and has the potential to increase the transaction size to $610 million, the companies said on Tuesday.

Eli Lilly has been striving to build its pipeline of gene therapies, following the acquisition of Prevail Therapeutics Inc for $1 billion last year.

It announced a $700 million investment in a new research hub in Boston, Massachusetts earlier this year that focuses on developing gene therapies.

(Reporting by Leroy Leo in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Anil D'Silva)