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Novartis to buy Endocyte for $2.1B to expand in radiopharmaceuticals

Switzerland-based Novartis AG will acquire Endocyte Inc. for $24 per share, or a total equity value of about $2.1 billion, in cash.

West Lafayette, Ind.-based Endocyte is developing Lu-PSMA-617, a potential radioligand therapy for prostate cancer which is in phase 3 development. Radiopharmaceuticals are medicines which contain radioisotopes that are used for diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

"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," said Novartis Oncology CEO Liz Barrett. "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," she added.

Endocyte's pipeline also includes additional investigational radioligand therapies, including Ac-PSMA-617, which is in preclinical studies for prostate cancer.

The merger deal, which was unanimously approved by the Endocyte board, is expected to close in the first half of 2019, subject to Endocyte stockholders' approval and other closing conditions.

Centerview Partners LLC is acting as lead financial adviser to Endocyte, with Jefferies LLC also acting as financial adviser. Faegre Baker Daniels LLP is Endocyte's legal counsel.