Eli Lilly has agreed to pay fellow US group Emisphere Technologies $18 million to settle litigation between the two firms over ‘illegal’ use of the latter’s Eligen technology.

Emisphere previously accused Lilly of using its Eligen technology, which allows therapeutic molecules to move across membranes more effectively, for the development of other products outside the area of parathyroid hormone specified in a deal the groups signed 2004.

Last year, a federal court ruled that Lilly had indeed breached the development agreement by using Emisphere’s technology for research beyond the scope of their cooperation, and agreed that the group had acted lawfully when it terminated a license with Lilly for an oral parathyroid hormone treatment used to treat osteoporosis.

Secret strategy

At the time, Judge David Hamilton said: “Lilly decided it really did not need Emisphere any further, so it decided to pursue a secret research strategy in breach of its contractual obligations to Emisphere.”

Emishpere now says it has accepted Lilly’s offer of $18 million to lay the issue to rest, but added that additional terms and conditions of the settlement are confidential.

Shares in the group climbed 2.8% to a high of 4.84 after the news was announced, but eventually closed down 2.5% on the previous day’s close at $4.62.