Novartis has signed a deal to acquire US biopharma Endocyte, securing itself access to novel radiopharmaceutical programmes “with significant sales potential”.
The Swiss drugmaker has agreed to pay $24 per share for all of Endocyte’s outstanding stock, valuing the equity at $2.1 billion.
Endocyte uses drug conjugation technology to develop targeted therapies with companion imaging agents for the treatment of cancer.
The deal includes 177Lu-PSMA-617, a potential first-in-class investigational radioligand therapy (RLT) for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).
The treatment targets the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA), present in the majority of patients with mCRPC, and has shown promising Phase II data, Novartis said.
It is currently being investigated in the Phase III global VISION clinical trial in men with mCRPC.
“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.
“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.”