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Lilly to acquire ARMO Biosciences in $1.6B deal

Eli Lilly and Co. said it will acquire ARMO BioSciences Inc. in an all-cash transaction valued at $1.6 billion.

Redwood City, Calif.-based ARMO is a clinical-stage biotechnology company that recently listed on the Nasdaq. Eli Lilly will pay $50 for every ARMO share it acquires and expects to close the transaction during the second quarter of 2018.

The acquisition will add ARMO's lead product candidate, pegilodecakin, to Lilly's immuno-oncology program.

Pegilodecakin is being studied in a late-stage clinical trial for pancreatic cancer, as well as earlier-stage trials in lung and renal cell cancer, melanoma and other solid tumor types.

ARMO also has a number of other immuno-oncology product candidates in pre-clinical development.

Credit Suisse is acting as the exclusive financial advisor to Lilly in this transaction and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz is acting as legal advisor.

For ARMO, Centerview Partners LLC is acting as the lead financial advisor. Jefferies LLC is providing financial advice, and Gunderson Dettmer is acting as legal adviser.