Saturday, September 23, 2023

(Reuters) – Nektar Therapeutics on Monday sued Eli Lilly, accusing the drugmaker of undermining the prospects for Rezpeg, which Nektar was developing as a treatment for various autoimmune diseases.

The complaint filed in San Francisco federal court accuses Lilly of breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, unfair competition and other wrongdoing. It seeks compensatory and punitive damages, among other remedies.

Lilly did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

Nektar separately on Monday reported new data from an early-stage study testing Rezpeg to treat a type of chronic skin condition called eczema. The company alleged that efficacy data previously generated by Lilly for the drug candidate was incorrectly calculated.

According to the corrected data, 12 weeks of treatment with the drug at the highest dose reduced severity of the condition by 83%, compared to 66% reported previously.

Shares of Nektar rose about 60% to 86 cents after the new data.

Nektar regained full rights to the drug earlier this year breaking a more than five-year partnership with Lilly to develop and potentially commercialize the drug to treat systemic lupus erythematosus, a chronic autoimmune disease, and atopic dermatitis.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York and Mariam Sunny in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Porter and Sriraj Kalluvila)


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