Eli Lilly is making a significant foray into the radiopharmaceutical cancer therapeutic sector with its acquisition of Point Biopharma Global for a substantial $1.4 billion. This strategic move solidifies Lilly’s commitment to advancing cancer treatment through radioligand therapies. The deal encompasses the acquisition of all outstanding shares of Point at $12.50 per share, representing a remarkable 87% premium over Point’s closing stock price on October 2, which stood at $6.68 per share. Additionally, it signifies a 68% premium over the 30-day volume-weighted average price.
The transaction has already received unanimous approval from the boards of both companies and is anticipated to conclude towards the end of this year, contingent upon customary closing conditions.
Lilly, headquartered in Indiana, will now incorporate Point’s portfolio of clinical- and preclinical-stage radioligand therapies into its existing lineup. Point Biopharma also possesses in-house manufacturing capabilities, including a sprawling 180,000-square-foot radiopharmaceutical manufacturing campus situated in Indiana, as well as a dedicated R&D center in Canada.
Among Point’s key assets are two lead programs in phase 3 development: PNT2002 and PNT2003. PNT2002 is a prostate-specific membrane antigen targeted radioligand therapy specifically designed for treating metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer after second-line treatment. Currently, the asset is undergoing evaluation in a pivotal trial known as SPLASH, with top-line data slated for release by the end of this year. On the other hand, PNT2003 is a somatostatin receptor targeted radioligand therapy aimed at patients with gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.
“We are excited by the potential of this emerging modality and see the acquisition of Point as the beginning of our investment in developing multiple meaningful radioligand medicines for hard-to-treat cancers, as we have done in small molecule and biologic oncology drug discovery and development.”
– Jacob Van Naarden, president of the Big Pharma’s oncology unit Loxo@Lilly
This bold step places Lilly in a competitive landscape, albeit somewhat later than Novartis, which has already made significant strides in the radiopharmaceuticals arena. While Lilly has previously invested in radiopharmaceutical companies, such as its recent support for Mariana Oncology’s $175 million series B funding round, Novartis has embraced radiopharmaceuticals as a cornerstone of its cancer strategy. Novartis boasts approved radiopharmaceutical drugs like Lutathera for specific gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors and Pluvicto for prostate cancer patients, establishing a strong presence in this cutting-edge field.