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Eli Lilly set to buy biotech company Akouos

Akouos develops gene therapies to treat inner ear conditions, including hearing loss.

INDIANAPOLIS — Eli Lilly and Company announced Tuesday it will buy a genetic medicine company in a $487 million deal.

Lilly will acquire Akouos, which aims to fill the needs of people with hearing loss. Through its expertise in otology and inner ear drug delivery, the company has developed gene therapies to treat inner ear conditions, including sensorineural hearing loss.

"We are honored to work with the talented team at Akouos who are breaking new ground in the science of treating hearing loss," said Andrew C. Adams, Ph.D., senior vice president of genetic medicine and co-director of the Institute for Genetic Medicine, Lilly. "We believe that with Lilly's resources, global reach, and growing capabilities in gene therapy, we can help Akouos fulfill their mission of making healthy hearing available to all." 

The deal has already been approved by the boards of directors of both companies. It is Lilly's second acquisition in the gene therapy space, following the acquisition of Prevail Therapeutics in 2021.

"I am proud of the commitment and passion of our team, which has established Akouos as a pioneer in inner ear genetic medicine, as demonstrated by our work to advance the first investigational therapy for a genetic form of hearing loss into clinical development," said Emmanuel Simons, Ph.D., M.B.A., co-founder, president, and chief executive officer of Akouos. "Joining Lilly – a company that shares our purpose to make life better for people around the world – will help us accelerate the development of a broad pipeline of inner ear genetic medicines."  

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