Eli Lilly has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Loxo Oncology, a biopharmaceutical firm focussed on genomically defined cancers, for a cash consideration of around $8bn, or $235 per share.
The deal forms part of Lilly’s strategy to bolster its cancer treatment portfolio with precision medicines.
Loxo Oncology pipeline consists of targeted drugs for cancers that are uniquely dependent on single gene abnormalities that can be identified through genomic testing.
The company obtained the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) breakthrough therapy designation for its oral RET inhibitor LOXO-292 intended for cancers with RET fusions and mutations, including lung and thyroid cancers.
Loxo Oncology’s portfolio also includes an oral BTK inhibitor called LOXO-305 to treat cancers with Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) alterations such as B-cell leukaemias and lymphomas.
Another drug, Vitrakvi is an oral TRK inhibitor developed and commercialised in alliance with Bayer. The companies are also investigating a follow-on TRK inhibitor, dubbed LOXO-195, for acquired resistance to TRK inhibition.
Lilly Oncology president Anne White said: “Lilly Oncology is committed to developing innovative, breakthrough medicines that will make a meaningful difference for people with cancer and help them live longer, healthier lives.
“The acquisition of Loxo Oncology represents an exciting and immediate opportunity to expand the breadth of our portfolio into precision medicines and target cancers that are caused by specific gene abnormalities.”
The acquisition is not subject to financing conditions. It is set to be completed by the first quarter of this year, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
Lilly noted that the deal to acquire Loxo Oncology is the largest in a series of bids made to expand its oncology portfolio. In June last year, the company acquired immuno-oncology firm ARMO BioSciences for $1.6bn.