Health Care

Novartis to Buy Prostate Cancer Therapy Firm Endocyte for $2.1 Billion

Novartis to Buy Prostate Cancer Therapy Firm Endocyte for $2.1 Billion”

Novartis will pay $24 a share for Endocyte, 54% more than its closing price Wednesday of $15.56, the Basel-based company said Thursday. Endocyte shares were trading at $US23.48 on Thursday morning.

The company has a radioligand therapy, Lu-PSMA-617, in Phase III development for 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)", Endocyte CEO Mike Sherman said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the 42-year-old USA doctor spent $8.7 billion on gene therapy company Avexis to get hold of its spinal muscular atrophy treatment that offers hope of a cure for some children.

There are now scant options for men with mCRPC and Novartis hopes to be able to meet the need of this group of patients.

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Narasimhan said that transaction prompted Novartis to expand relationships with US and European nuclear medicine centers.

Endocyte's board unanimously approved the transaction and expects completion in the first half of 2019 following a stockholder vote. The company has announced its acquisition of Endocyte in a deal valued at a whopping $2.1 billion.

"We are also excited about the opportunity to break into the prostate cancer arena with a near-term product that has the potential to make a meaningful impact for patients in great need of more options", Barrett added. Until regulatory and other approvals are met, Endocyte will remain independent. Novartis plans to fund the acquisition with available cash. The medicine uses a small molecule to aim a radioactive cancer drug at a target, called PSMA, that's found in high numbers on the surface of diseased cells, according to Endocyte.

Through the acquisition of Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA), Novartis acquired Lutathera (lutetium Lu 177 dotatate / INN: lutetium (177Lu) oxodotreotide), a peptide receptor radionuclide therapy for treating somatostatin-receptor positive gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs), an orphan disease.

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