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Eli Lilly to pay $1.4-billion for cancer-drug maker Point Biopharma

Eli Lilly to pay $1.4-billion for cancer-drug maker Point Biopharma
Brightly coloured medication pictured in an arranged photograph in London on Friday, April 27, 2018. Eli Lilly is set to pay $1.4-billion for cancer-drug maker Point Biopharma. (Photo: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

Eli Lilly said it will pay about $1.4-billion to acquire Point Biopharma Global Inc. to gain radiation therapies in development for illnesses such as prostate cancer. 

Lilly will pay $12.50 a share in cash, according to a statement on Tuesday from the two Indianapolis-based companies, 87% higher than Point’s closing price on Monday. Point jumped 84% at the New York market open, its biggest gain since the shares began trading in July 2020. Lilly fell 1.7%. 

While Lilly’s market value has been climbing on the sales potential of its drugs for weight loss and Alzheimer’s disease, the company has also been working to establish more of a presence in cancer treatment, starting with the purchase of Loxo Oncology in 2019 for about $7-billion. Cancer is one of the most lucrative and enduring opportunities for big drugmakers, with global sales of oncology therapies reaching almost $200-billion in 2022.

Among Point’s lead programmes is a drug called PNT2002 designed to help advanced prostate cancer patients who aren’t responding to hormonal treatment. Data from a late-stage study of the drug are expected in the fourth quarter of this year. Point also operates a manufacturing facility in Indianapolis and a research and development centre in Toronto, according to the statement.

The drug, called a radioligand, combines a cell-targeting compound with a radioactive substance in an approach aimed at killing diseased tissues while minimising harm to surrounding healthy ones. It would compete with drugs including Novartis AG’s Pluvicto that’s already cleared in the US for advanced prostate cancer treatment. 

Lantheus Holdings Inc. holds the worldwide licence to Point’s lead assets and is working with the drugmaker on developing PNT2002. Bedford, Massachusetts-based Lantheus shares rose as much as 9.3%, the most intraday since May. 

The purchase expands Lilly’s oncology portfolio to include radioligands “as well as bringing in radioisotope manufacturing in-house,” according to analysts at Truist Securities, adding that it “bodes well for the overall radiopharma space, further validating the platform as another pillar of medicine.”


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