West Lafayette-based Endocyte Inc. (Nasdaq: ECYT) has announced a merger agreement with a global pharmaceutical giant. The deal with Switzerland-based Novartis AG is valued at $2.1 billion and still requires shareholder approval. Until regulatory and other approvals are met, Endocyte will remain independent. The proposed merger of Endocyte into Novartis is slated to be complete in the first half of next year.
Endocyte develops targeted cancer therapies and earlier this month became the first Purdue University startup to reach a value of $1.5 billion.
One year ago, Endocyte announced its acquisition of a late-stage, high-potential prostate cancer treatment for $12 million. Chief Executive Officer Mike Sherman says PSMA-617 played a key role in the decision by Novartis to offer shareholders over 50 percent more for their shares of Endocyte.
"Since acquiring exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize PSMA-617 agents in 2017, the entire Endocyte team, along with our partners, have worked tirelessly to build a leading radioligand (RLT) portfolio and create value for patients and shareholders alike," Sherman said. "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."
Sherman, who succeeded co-founder Ron Ellis in 2016 as CEO and president, adds "the global reach and expertise of Novartis in developing and commercializing RLT therapies will be critical in efforts for patients to benefit from these therapies as quickly as possible."
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