US firm also laying off 485 sales staff after Alzheimer’s drug failure

Eli Lilly has agreed to buy pain and migraine specialist CoLucid for around $960 million (£760 million). At the same time, the company will make 485 US field sales representatives redundant, following the clinical failure of its Alzheimer’s antibody solanezumab.

In a letter to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Lilly said the cuts to its ‘integrated health’ and cardiovascular sales operations stem from a decision to stop promoting some of its other medicines, as well as no longer requiring staff hired to sell solanezumab.

The company’s acquisition of CoLucid brings a migraine drug candidate that was originally discovered at Lilly back under the company’s control. Lilly out-licensed lasmiditan to CoLucid in 2005. Since then, CoLucid has advanced the molecule into Phase III clinical trials.