Eli Lilly has revealed a new global licensing and research collaboration with Sitryx, in order to study up to four novel preclinical targets identified by.

The companies have confirmed that under the terms of the agreement, Sitryx will receive an upfront payment of $50 million, and Lilly will make a $10 million equity investment in Sitryx.

Also, the latter will be eligible to receive potential development milestones up to $820 million, as well as commercialisation milestones and royalty payments on potential sales in the mid- to high-single digit range.

The collaboration is set to grant Lilly an exclusive, worldwide license to develop and commercialise up to four novel immunometabolism targeted therapeutics, including Sitryx's two lead projects, leading to a a five-year research collaboration to support the development of the therapeutics.

"As Lilly seeks to develop new and unique medicines for people suffering with autoimmune diseases, we are actively exploring a variety of scientific approaches both in our own labs and with external partners," said Ajay Nirula, vice president of immunology at Lilly.

He continued, “Regulating the metabolism of immune cells is a promising approach to treating these diseases, and we look forward to working with the talented researchers at Sitryx to advance their novel immunometabolism targets.”

Eli Lilly recently announced plans to postpone most new unrelated study starts, and temporarily suspend recruiting new patients or healthy volunteers in most of its ongoing trials.

As a result of the difficult move, the company says it hopes to “ease the burden on participating healthcare facilities and allow physicians to focus more of their efforts on combatting COVID-19.”

In an additional bid to alleviate some of the pressure that the pandemic has placed on the healthcare system, Lilly has also repurposed laboratories to “conduct diagnostic testing for patients”, as well as “researching potential therapeutics.”

The company is also set to buy Dermira for around $1.1 billion, expanding its immunology pipeline in the process.