Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY) will support Phase II clinical trials by Bio-Light Israeli Life Sciences Investments Ltd. (TASE:BOLT) portfolio company OBEcure Ltd. The trial of OBEcure’s OBE101 drug will be conducted in Canada on 78 schizophrenia patients taking Eli Lilly’s anti-psychotic drug Zyprexa. Eli Lilly’s support for the trial could total a few hundred thousand dollars. OBEcure will allow Eli Lilly to review the results of the trial before publication.
The trial will examine the effectiveness of OBE101, compared with a similar drug, in preventing weight gain as a side effect of taking Zyprexa.
OBEcure’s anti-obesity drug, OBE101, is also about to undergo Phase II trials in the US, paralleling the joint trial with Eli Lilly in Canada. OBEcure adds that the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) will conduct a clinical trial of OBE101’s operating mechanism on 80 patients during 2007.
Yesterday, OBEcure announced the appointment of Rodman and Renshaw to lead a private placement to finance the trial. Rodman and Renshaw will also serve as an underwriter for any possible future IPO by OBEcure.
Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. The company specializes in drugs for treating mental disorders. Its flagship product, Zyprexa, has $4.6 billion in sales a year, 30% of the company’s total sales. In the coming years, a number of competing drugs, with lesser weight gain side effect than Zyprexa, are due to enter the market. If OBE101 is effective in helping limit weight gain, Eli Lilly will be able to keep its leadership in the schizophrenic treatment market.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on January 22, 2007
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