Novartis Invests $2.1bn for Nuclear Medicine

Novartis shares rise amid plans for cancer drug specialist purchase

Novartis raised its outlook on Thursday, and announced it would acquire radiopharmaceuticals company Endocyte of the a deal that values it at $2.1 billion. It operates through the following segments: Innovative Medicines, Alcon, Sandoz, and Corporate. The company bought another company that works in the field, France's Advanced Accelerator Applications, for $3.9 billion a year ago.

Endocyte's knowledge and abilities will help Novartis in its development of a drug that can be used earlier in the treatment of prostate cancer. On May 15, Novartis expanded its presence in neuroscience and gene therapy by completing an $8.7 billion acquisition of AveXis.

Novartis now expects sales to grow in the mid-single-digit percentage range at constant currencies, up from its previous forecast of low-to-mid-single-digit percentage rates.

"Today is less about the earnings number and more about the company's transition to much more of a pure-play pharma business, which seems to be going down well with investors", Berenberg analyst Laura Sutcliffe said. Novartis will pay $24 a share to acquire the company.

Still, some analysts anxious Narasimhan waited too long.

As part of the restructuring, Endocyte said it was ending patient enrollment in a Phase I trial of its folate receptor-targeted tubulysin solid tumor cancer candidate EC1456 (NCT01999738), but continuing enrolling a "small number" of patients in a Phase I ovarian cancer surgical study of EC1456 (NCT03011320). In the transaction, Endocyte would be merged with a newly formed subsidiary of Novartis. After building his supply chain, Narasimhan needed more treatments. "With Endocyte, we saw a great fit". The drug targets prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA), which is expressed on prostate cancer cells, and delivers a cell-killing radioisotope directly to the tumour.

The company has a radioligand therapy, Lu-PSMA-617, in Phase III development for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

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