Lilly to Acquire AurKa Pharma
Eli Lilly and Company announced an agreement to acquire AurKa Pharma, Inc., a company established by TVM Capital Life Science to develop oncology compound AK-01, an Aurora kinase A inhibitor that was originally discovered at Lilly. The compound is a potential first-in-class asset that AurKa Pharma is studying in Phase 1 clinical trials in multiple types of solid tumors.
Aurora kinases are believed to play a crucial role in cellular division by controlling chromosomal segregation. Defects in segregation can cause genetic instability, a condition highly associated with the formation of tumors. Aurora kinases, consisting of Aurora A, Aurora B and Aurora C, are key mitotic regulators required for genome stability and are frequently overexpressed in cancerous tumors. AurKa Pharma's asset, AK-01, has been shown to be highly selective for Aurora A, with potential clinical benefit observed in Phase 1 studies. Future studies will seek to determine if the selectivity profile of AK-01 can improve efficacy while limiting toxicity risks to a manageable level.