Eli Lilly buys gene therapy company Akouos for $487 million

Oct 18 (Reuters) – Eli Lilly and Co (LLY.N) will acquire gene medicine developer Akouos Inc (AKUS.O) for around $487 million in cash as the drugmaker expands its arsenal of gene therapies for a range of disabilities want .

Shares in Akouos, which develops gene therapies for sensorineural hearing loss, rose 84% to trade 40 cents above Lilly’s asking price of $12.50 before the opening bell.

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

Eli Lilly has been scrambling to build its pipeline of gene therapies after acquiring Prevail Therapeutics Inc for $1 billion last year.

Earlier this year, the company announced a $700 million investment in a new research center in Boston, Massachusetts focused on gene therapy development.

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Reporting by Leroy Leo in Bengaluru; Edited by Shinjini Ganguli and Anil D’Silva

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