Eli Lilly to buy Armo BioSciences for $1.6 bn
11 May 2018
US pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Co yesterday struck a deal to buy Armo BioSciences Inc for about $1.6 billion in order to strengthen its immuno-oncology portfolio.
Under the terms of the deal, Eli Lilly has agreed to pay $50 per share in cash, a premium of 68 per cent to Armo’s Wednesday close.
The proposed acquisition is expected Lilly to close by the end of the second quarter of 2018.
Armo, which went public four months back, is a late-stage immuno-oncology company that is developing a pipeline of novel, proprietary product candidates that activate the immune system of cancer patients to recognize and eradicate tumors.
The Redwood City, California-based company's lead product candidate AM0010 has demonstrated clinical benefit as a single agent, and in combination with both chemotherapy and checkpoint inhibitor therapy, across several tumor types.
The drug is currently being investigated in a Phase 3 randomised pivotal clinical trial in pancreatic cancer patients, as well as earlier-Phase trials in lung cancer, liver cancer, melanoma and other solid tumor types.
Armo also has several other immuno-oncology product candidates in various stages of pre-clinical development.
The company was founded in 2010 but has not generated revenue so far. It posted a net loss of $42.5 million in 2017.
"At Lilly Oncology, we are dedicated to developing cancer medicines that will make a meaningful difference for patients," said Sue Mahony, Ph.D., Lilly senior vice president and president of Lilly Oncology. "The acquisition of ARMO BioSciences adds a promising next generation clinical immunotherapy asset to Lilly's portfolio of innovative oncology medicines."
"ARMO is proud of the work we have done to advance the study of immunotherapies and of the development of pegilodecakin to-date," said Peter Van Vlasselaer, Ph.D., president and CEO of Armo.
"Given the resources that Lilly, a leader in oncology R&D, can bring to bear to maximise the value of pegilodecakin and the rest of the ARMO pipeline, we believe it is in the best interest of ARMO, our stockholders and the patients we serve, to execute this transaction," he added.
Indianapolis, Indiana-based Eli Lilly was founded in 1876 by Col Eli Lilly, a pharmaceutical chemist and veteran of the American Civil War.
It was one of the first pharmaceutical companies to produce human insuluin using recombinant DNA including Humulin, Humalog, and the first approved biosimilar insulin product in the US, Basaglar.
Lilly is currently the largest manufacturer of psychiatric medications and produces Prozac, Dolophine, Cymbalta, and Zyprexa.