Novartis has announced its plan to acquire US based biopharmaceutical company Endocyte, which is focused on developing targeted therapeutics for cancer treatment. Under the terms of the agreement, Novartis will acquire all outstanding shares.
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, a disease with limited treatment options and significant unmet medical need.
If completed, the Endocyte acquisition would expand the Novartis RLT platform with both a potential near-term product launch and early-stage clinical development programmes. 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.
"Novartis has a strong legacy of addressing unmet needs with transformative therapies and is building a leadership capability in new, technology-driven platforms that address some of the world's most complex health challenges, including cancer,” explained Liz Barrett, CEO, Novartis Oncology.
“This acquisition 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. 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."