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Eli Lilly to buy Sigilon Therapeutics to expand diabetes treatments

FILE PHOTO: Eli Lilly logo is shown on one of their offices in San Diego

(Reuters) - Eli Lilly and Co said on Thursday it will acquire all the shares of Sigilon Therapeutics that it did not own to gain access to experimental cell therapies that can provide longer-term solutions for diabetes patients.

A major provider of diabetes drugs and insulin, Lilly owned nearly 8.44% stake in Sigilon as of March 27. It would pay $14.92 per share, or $34.6 million in upfront cash, for the rest of the company.

Sigilon shareholders will get an additional $111.64 per share if they achieve certain developmental and regulatory milestones, Lilly said.

Shares of Sigilion soared more than eightfold in premarket trading to $34.48.The deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2023, would give Lilly access to Sigilon's proprietary cell therapy candidate being developed to treat type 1 diabetes.

The two companies have been partners since 2018, when Lilly paid Sigilon $63 million for a licensing deal to develop cell therapes targeting type 1 diabetes and made an undisclosed equity investment.

Lilly's portfolio of diabetes products contributed more than half of its total revenue in 2022.

(Reporting by Mariam Sunny in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar)

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