Lilly Makes $1.6B Acquisition

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(Image courtesy of Eli Lilly and Co.) (Image courtesy of Eli Lilly and Co.)
INDIANAPOLIS -

Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE :LLY) is acquiring a California company in a $1.6 billion deal. ARMO BioSciences is developing a pipeline of products designed to boost the immune system of cancer patients and eradicate tumors. Lilly Oncology President Sue Mahony says the acquisition adds a "promising next-generation clinical immunotherapy asset" to Lilly's pipeline.

Lilly says ARMO's lead product candidate, pegilodecakin, has shown positive results both as a single treatment and in combination with chemotherapy and other treatments. It is currently in a Phase 3 clinical trial in pancreatic cancer and in earlier-stage trials in lung, renal cell and other cancer types. 

"As we develop our immuno-oncology portfolio, Lilly will pursue medicines that use the body's immune system in new ways to treat cancer," said Lilly Oncology Senior Vice President of Global Development and Medical Affairs Levi Garraway. "We believe that pegilodecakin has a unique immunologic mechanism of action that could eventually allow physicians to offer new hope for many cancer patients."

The purchase price is $50 per share in cash, totaling about $1.6 billion. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of the second quarter.

Last month, Lilly reported first quarter net income of $1.2 billion, compared to a loss of $110.8 million during the same period the previous year. The company also raised its full-year earnings per share and revenue expectations. In an interview last week with Inside INdiana Business Television Host Gerry Dick, Chief Executive Officer Dave Ricks predicted a "bright period ahead" for Lilly.

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