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Eli Lilly licenses Centrexion Therapeutics’ experimental non-opioid chronic pain treatment CNTX-0290

Eli Lilly signed a license agreement to acquire the exclusive worldwide rights for CNTX-0290 from Centrexion Therapeutics. According to Eli Lilly, the small molecule SSTR4 agonist "is currently being studied in Phase I clinical testing" as a potential non-opioid treatment for chronic pain conditions.

Under the agreed terms, Eli Lilly will pay Centrexion $47.5 million upfront, with the latter drugmaker also eligible for as much as $575 million in development and regulatory milestones. Meanwhile, if CNTX-0290 is commercialised, Centrexion will be due up to $375 million in potential sales milestones, as well as tiered royalties ranging from the high-single to the low-double digits. The companies indicated that they may also eventually decide to jointly promote the treatment in the US.

Mark Mintun, vice president of pain and neurodegeneration research at Eli Lilly, remarked "we are pleased to license this early-phase molecule from Centrexion, and look forward to developing it further as a potential non-opioid treatment option for multiple pain conditions." According to Centrexion, CNTX-0290 activates the SSTR4 receptor, which functions as a "master control" switch to dampen the activity of several other pain receptors, such as specific calcium channels, potassium channels and TRPV1 and TRPA1 channels.

Eli Lilly indicated that the deal will not change its previously announced full-year earnings guidance.



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