Eli Lilly and French biotech Adocia have reached an agreement for a worldwide licensing partnership to develop an ultra-rapid insulin to treat patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The deal will strengthen the position of Eli Lilly into the very competitive diabete’s market.

The product is currently in early-stage phase Ib studies and aims to control glucose levels better during and after meals. According to the companies, Adocia will receive an upfront fee of $50 million, potential future payments of up to $280 million if the product reaches certain development and regulatory milestones, and sales milestones of up to $240 million.

Lilly will also pay royalties on sales of the drug, if approved, and reimburse Adocia for some of its research and development expenses, for an unspecified amount.