Novartis Seeks Radiopharmaceutical Expansion With Purchase of Endocyte

20 October, 2018, 14:24 | Author: Sherman Richardson
  • Novartis shares rise amid plans for cancer drug specialist purchase

The $24-per-share offer - around $8.50 above Endocyte's closing share price yesterday - has the backing of the biotech's board, but still needs the approval of its shareholders.

Novartis has agreed another bolt-on deal to boost its pipeline, buying nuclear medicine firm Endocyte for $2.1bn as it raised its sales forecasts for the year on a strong third quarter.

Closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval of Endocyte's stockholders and receipt of regulatory approvals.

The West Lafayette, Ind. -based company is now conducting clinical trials for radiopharmaceuticals-essentially, radioactive drugs that help diagnose and target tumors-that could be used to treat men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

"We are thrilled that Novartis recognizes the potential for 177Lu-PSMA-617 to change the treatment landscape for men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), as well as the broader role that RLTs may potentially play in the treatment of cancer", Endocyte CEO and president Mike Sherman said in the press release. The company is based in West Lafayette, Indiana.

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It is now being investigated in the Phase III global VISION clinical trial in men with mCRPC.

If completed, the Endocyte acquisition would expand the Novartis RLT platform with both a potential near-term product launch and early-stage clinical development programs.

"The proposed acquisition of Endocyte builds on our growing capability in radiopharmaceuticals, which is expected to be an increasingly important treatment option for patients and a key growth driver for our business", noted Liz Barrett, chief executive of Novartis Oncology. AAA's radiopharmaceutical drugs are used to diagnose and treat cancer and other diseases.

Novartis also reported its third-quarter earnings Thursday, which showed net group sales grew 6% to CHF12.8 billion in Q3 2018, from CHF12.4 billion a year earlier.

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