Eli Lilly Closes Avid Buyout; Announces FDA Priority Review For Florbetapir

Drug maker Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) said Monday that it has completed the acquisition of Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately-held company developing novel molecular imaging compounds for the detection and monitoring of chronic human diseases. Lilly and Avid also announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or FDA has assigned priority review designation to the marketing application for florbetapir, Avid's lead program in development.

Florbetapir is a molecular imaging agent under investigation for detecting the presence of amyloid plaque in the brain. Beta-amyloid plaque is a defining pathology of Alzheimer's disease.

Lilly first announced the transaction to acquire Avid Radiopharmaceuticals for up to $800 million in early November. The company noted that the transaction has now received the approval of Avid stockholders and all other closing conditions have also been met.

Under the terms of the deal, Lilly acquired all outstanding shares of Avid for an upfront payment of $300 million, subject to adjustment based on existing cash on hand at closing. Avid stockholders will also be eligible for up to $500 million in additional payments contingent upon potential future regulatory and commercial milestones for florbetapir. Lilly noted that the impact of the acquisition will be reflected in its financial results for the fourth quarter, but is not expected to be material.

Lilly and Avid noted that the Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee of the FDA will hold a meeting to discuss florbetapir's new drug application on January 20, 2011.

LLY closed Monday's regular trading session at $35.04, up $0.03 or 0.09% on a volume of 4.61 million shares.

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