Lilly wraps up $8bn acquisition of Loxo Oncology

US pharma giant Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly) has wrapped up its previously announced $8 billion acquisition of Connecticut-based biopharma company Loxo Oncology.

Announced in January 2019, Lilly acquisition of Loxo Oncology is expected to expand the scope of the pharma giant’s oncology portfolio into precision medicines owing to the addition of a marketed therapy in addition to a pipeline of highly selective potential drugs for patients suffering from genomically defined cancers.

Commenting on Lilly acquisition of Loxo Oncology, Anne White – president of Lilly Oncology, said: “We are pleased to announce the completion of our acquisition of Loxo Oncology, which will expand the breadth of our portfolio into precision medicines and target cancers that are caused by specific gene abnormalities. We look forward to working with the Loxo Oncology team and continuing to rapidly advance this pioneering scientific innovation and improve the lives of people with cancer.”

The Stamford-based Loxo Oncology is focused on developing targeted drugs for the treatment of cancers that uniquely depend on single gene abnormalities that can be detected using genomic testing. As per Lilly, a targeted drug has the potential to treat the condition of patients with cancers harboring the genomic alterations.

Lilly acquisition of Loxo Oncology
Lilly acquisition of Loxo Oncology. Photo courtesy of Guanaco152003/

As per the terms of the deal, Lilly purchased all of Loxo Oncology’s outstanding shares at a price of $235 per share in cash.

Josh Bilenker – CEO of Loxo Oncology, commenting on Lilly acquisition of Loxo Oncology, said: “The Loxo Oncology team has always been relentless and unified around the common goal of bringing highly selective medicines to patients with genomically defined cancers. With the acquisition now complete, we look forward to realizing the full value of our pipeline with the ongoing support of our teams in Connecticut, Colorado, and California.”

Through the acquisition of Loxo Oncology, Lilly adds investigational drugs of the former to its portfolio that includes LOXO-292 and LOXO-305 among others.

LOXO-292 is an oral RET inhibitor, which holds the Breakthrough Therapy designation from the US FDA for three indications. The drug is scheduled for an initial potential launch in 2020.

LOXO-305 is an oral BTK inhibitor, which is currently in phase 1/2 development. The investigational drug has been designed to target cancers with alterations to the Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK).

Following the closing of the Lilly acquisition of Loxo Oncology, the latter has offloaded the global development rights of Vitrakvi (larotrectinib) and LOXO-195 to Bayer. This was after Bayer exercised its option, which was granted under a change-in-control clause in its November 2017 agreement with Loxo Oncology for co-development of the two oncology compounds.

Vitrakvi and BAY 2731954 are targeted for the treatment of advanced solid tumors harboring NTRK gene fusions in both adults and children.

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