Eli Lilly and NextCure have signed a multi-year collaboration for the discovery and development of immuno-oncology therapies based on NextCure’s proprietary FIND-IO™ platform. The two companies will each receive options to exclusively license antibodies resulting from the collaboration. Upon the terms of the agreement, NextCure will receive an upfront payment of $25 million; Lilly also made an additional $15 million equity investment in NextCure.

The FIND-IOplatform aims to identify novel cell surface molecular interactions that drive functional immune responses in the tumor microenvironment and other disease sites. Established primary cell lines from immune lineages include T cells, NK cells, macrophages, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, dendritic cells, as well as cancer cells.