Mergers and Acquisitions

Date: 2018-10-18

Type of information: Company acquisition

Acquired company: Endocyte (USA - IN)

Acquiring company: Novartis (Switzerland)

Amount: $ 2.1 billion


  • • On October 18, 2018, Novartis announced that it has entered into an agreement and plan of merger with Endocyte, a US-based biopharmaceutical company focused on developing targeted therapeutics for cancer treatment. Under the terms of the agreement, Novartis would acquire all outstanding shares of Endocyte common stock for $ 24 per share. This offer values Endocyte's equity at $ 2.1 billion.
  • The transaction would be in the form of a merger of Endocyte and a newly formed Novartis subsidiary. Under the terms of the agreement and plan of merger, upon closing, holders of Endocyte common stock would receive $ 24 in cash per share. This offer values Endocyte's equity at $ 2.1 billion.
  • Closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval of Endocyte's stockholders and receipt of regulatory approvals. Until closing, Endocyte will continue to operate as a separate and independent company.
  • The acquisition of Endocyte is planned to be funded through available cash.


  • Endocyte uses drug conjugation technology to develop targeted therapies with companion imaging agents, including 177Lu-PSMA-617, a potential first-in-class investigational radioligand therapy (RLT) for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). 177Lu-PSMA-617 targets the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA), present in the majority of patients with mCRPC, and has shown promising Phase II data. 177Lu-PSMA-617 is currently being investigated in the Phase III global VISION clinical trial in men with mCRPC.
  • If completed, the Endocyte acquisition would expand the Novartis RLT platform with both a potential near-term product launch and early-stage clinical development programs. The deal would also enable Novartis to harness its research and development expertise to investigate the potential development of 177Lu-PSMA-617 for use in earlier lines of prostate cancer therapy.
  • In a Phase II study, 50 patients with PSMA-positive mCRPC treated with 177Lu-PSMA-617 showed a median prostate specific antigen (PSA) progression free survival (PFS) of 7.6 months (p<0.0001). Median overall survival for the first cohort of 30 patients enrolled was 13.5 months (p=0.0201). VISION is a global, prospective, open-label, multi-center, randomized Phase III trial of 177Lu-PSMA-617 in combination with best supportive care versus best supportive care alone. The trial is currently enrolling patients with mCRPC. In September, the FDA agreed to radiographic progression-free survival (rPFS) as an alternative primary endpoint to OS in the trial.
  • The Endocyte pipeline includes additional investigational RLTs, including 225Ac-PSMA-617 in preclinical studies for the treatment of mCRPC.
  • Radiopharmaceuticals such as 177Lu-PSMA-617 are innovative medicinal formulations containing radioisotopes that are used clinically for both diagnosis and therapy. Through the acquisition of Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA), Novartis acquired Lutathera® (lutetium Lu 177 dotatate / INN: lutetium (177Lu) oxodotreotide) - the first ever approved Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy - for the treatment of somatostatin-receptor positive gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs), an orphan disease.  

Related: Cancer - Oncology

Is general: Yes