Novartis strikes $2.1B deal to buy cancer drugmaker Endocyte

Novartis to buy cancer drugmaker Endocyte for $2.1 bln in cash

Under the agreement, Novartis would acquire all outstanding shares of Endocyte common stock for $24 per share, or an equity value of $2.1 billion.

This offer represents a premium of 54% percent to Endocyte's closing price of $15.56 on October 17, 2018.

Novartis is paying $2.1 billion for nuclear medicine specialist Endocyte in Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan's latest deal to reshape the Swiss drugs group from a pill maker to a producer of sophisticated therapies.

Completion of the transaction is expected in the first half of 2019. 177Lu-PSMA-617 is now being investigated in a global Phase III clinical trial in men with mCRPC.

Data from a Phase II study of the drug presented in a poster in June at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting indicated that of the 50 patients receiving Lu-PSMA-617, 62 percent had a greater than 50 percent reduction in their prostate-specific antigen levels, while 44 percent of patients had a PSA reduction of 80 percent or more.

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Watch Endocyte and Novartis trade in real time.

"Novartis has a strong legacy of addressing unmet needs with transformative therapies and is building a leadership capability in new, technology-driven platforms that address some of the world's most complex health challenges, including cancer".

The Endocyte pipeline includes additional investigational RLTs, including 225Ac-PSMA-617 in preclinical studies for the treatment of mCRPC. AAA's radiopharmaceutical drugs are used to diagnose and treat cancer and other diseases. Novartis has also boosted its revenue outlook for the year, noting that it expects a low to mid-single digit rate of growth. Endocyte specializes in so-called radiopharmaceuticals, a new class of drug that carries radioactive substances directly to cancer cells so they can kill tumor cells at close range.

The acquisition of Endocyte is planned to be funded through available cash.

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