Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company will purchase four-year-old Disarm Therapeutics, a Cambridge-based biotechnology company, for $135 million up front.  Investors reportedly could receive an additional $1.225 billion depending on the success of Lilly’s development and commercialization efforts relating to the new drugs resulting from the deal.

Disarm has reportedly developed certain drug therapies for  axonal degeneration, a common feature of many neurological disorders. The development included the discovery of a protein that causes axonal degeneration and molecules known as SARM1 inhibitors which the developers believe can address axonal degeneration. Diseases targeted for the therapies include multiple sclerosis and ALS.

Disarm was reportedly founded by Atlas Venture, Atlas Entrepreneurs-in-Residence Dr. Rajesh Devraj and Dr. Raul Krauss, Drs. DiAntonio and Milbrandt of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. AbbVie Ventures and Lightstone Ventures co-invested with Atlas to support the foundational work at Disarm.

Related articles: STAT News   The Financial  Fierce Biotech