WEST LAFAYETTE - Purdue University says West Lafayette-based Endocyte Inc. (Nasdaq: ECYT) has become its first startup to reach $1.5 billion in value. The company says its drug platforms in various stages of development and clinical trials are showing promising results in treating conditions including advanced prostate cancer and pediatric bone cancer.

Endocyte was founded in the Purdue Research Park, with most of its technology based on research by Purdue Presidential Scholar in Drug Discovery Philip Low. He currently serves as the company's chief science officer. The company has more than 75 employees in West Lafayette and Indianapolis.

The company made one of its biggest moves in the fall of 2017, when it acquired a late-stage prostate cancer therapy in a $12 million deal with Germany-based ABX GmbH. At the time, Chief Executive Officer Mike Sherman said, while the word transformational can be overused, "In this case, the word is absolutely fitting." During a conference call announcing the acquisition, he said the therapy could put Endocyte in a leading position in a $1 billion market.