SV Health Investors Announces Licensing and Research Collaboration between Sitryx and Lilly to Discover and Develop New Immunometabolic Medicines

in Portfolio News

Boston, MA & London, UK (March 31, 2020) – SV Health Investors (SV), a leading transatlantic venture capital and growth equity firm, today announces that Sitryx, one of their portfolio companies, has entered an exclusive global licensing and research collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY). The collaboration will study up to four novel preclinical targets identified by Sitryx that could lead to potential new medicines for autoimmune diseases.

Sitryx is a biopharmaceutical company focused on regulating cell metabolism to develop disease-modifying therapeutics in immuno-oncology and immuno-inflammation. The company was founded in 2016 by six world leading researchers in the field of immunology and immuno-regulation and seeded by SV Health Investors.

“We are delighted to partner with Lilly, a global leader in the field of immunology with valuable experience in drug development and commercialization and the agreement serves as validation of the strong scientific foundations on which Sitryx is built,” said Houman Ashrafian, co-founder Sitryx and Managing Partner SV Health Investors, “The area of immunometabolism is fast emerging and this partnership will help Sitryx leverage our science into the development of innovative and potentially life-changing therapies for patients.”

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. Sitryx will then potentially be eligible to receive development milestones up to $820 million, as well as commercialization milestones and royalty payments on sales. In return, Sitryx will grant Lilly an exclusive, worldwide license to develop and commercialize up to four novel immunometabolism targeted therapeutics, including Sitryx’s two lead projects. Lilly and Sitryx will establish a 5-year research collaboration to support the development of the therapeutics, with Sitryx responsible for drug discovery, while Lilly will fund and manage the clinical development and commercial phase of the collaboration.

“Lilly’s support of the novel approach to treating autoimmune diseases Sitryx has developed represents a significant step forward not only for the biotech but also for the field of immunometabolism,” Said Kate Bingham, Acting Chairman Sitryx and Managing Partner SV Health Investors, “Combining Sitryx’s robust science and strong management team with Lilly’s expertise has the exciting potential to enable the development of extremely promising. This agreement will likely help pave the way for Sitryx to become a leader in the field of immunometabolism.”

This transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. The transaction will be reflected in Lilly’s reported results and financial guidance according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). There will be no change to Lilly’s 2020 non-GAAP earnings per share guidance as a result of this transaction.

About SV Health Investors

SV Health Investors is a leading healthcare and life sciences venture capital and growth equity firm. Organized by sector, SV invests in innovative science across biotechnology, medical devices, and healthcare services and digital health. Their strategy is sector specific: targeting early-stage opportunities in biotechnology, of which approximately two thirds are in new companies created in-house, early-stage and revenue-stage opportunities in medical devices, and growth equity investments for later-stage businesses in healthcare services and digital health. SV Health Managers LLP is fund manager of the Dementia Discovery Fund, a specialist venture capital fund focused entirely on funding the discovery and development of novel, disease-modifying therapies for dementia patients, as well as the International Biotechnology Trust plc, publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker IBT LN.

SV Health Investors has offices in Boston and London. For more information, please visit

About Sitryx

Sitryx is a biopharmaceutical company focused on regulating cell metabolism to develop disease-modifying therapeutics in immuno-oncology and immuno-inflammation. Sitryx’s proprietary science is led by a highly experienced management team, supported by world class academic founders. Sitryx was founded by six world-leading researchers in the field of immunology and metabolism; Houman Ashrafian, Luke O’Neill, Jonathan Powell, Jeff Rathmell, Michael Rosenblum and Paul Peter Tak. Together they have published more than 1,000 papers in the field, making multiple key breakthroughs in our understanding of how critical energetic status is to the behavior of immune cells and in the broader field of immunology. In 2018, Sitryx raised $30 million Series A funding from an international syndicate of specialist investors including SV Health Investors, Sofinnova Partners, Longwood Fund and GSK. The company has a pipeline of projects at multiple stages of drug discovery. Sitryx is headquartered in Oxford, UK. For more information, please visit

About Eli Lilly and Company
Lilly is a global healthcare leader that unites caring with discovery to create medicines that make life better for people around the world. We were founded more than a century ago by a man committed to creating high-quality medicines that meet real needs, and today we remain true to that mission in all our work. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. To learn more about Lilly, please visit us at and C-LLY

Lilly Forward-Looking Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements (as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) about the benefits of a collaboration between Lilly and Sitryx, and reflects Lilly's current beliefs. However, as with any such undertaking, there are substantial risks and uncertainties in the process of drug development and commercialization. Among other things, there can be no guarantee that Lilly will realize the expected benefits of the collaboration, or that the collaboration will yield commercially successful products. For a further discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from Lilly's expectations, please see Lilly's most recent Forms 10-K and 10-Q filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Lilly undertakes no duty to update forward-looking statements.

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