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 U.S.in 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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