Lilly buys ARMO for $1.6 billion

Eli Lilly will buy ARMO BioSciences for $50 per share, or approximately $1.6 billion, the companies said Thursday. 

The acquisition will bolster Lilly’s immuno-oncology program through the addition of ARMO’s lead product candidate, pegilodecakin, a PEGylated IL-10 which has shown clinical benefit as a single agent, and in combination with both chemotherapy and checkpoint inhibitor therapy, across several tumor types. Pegilodecakin is currently being studied in a Phase 3 clinical trial in pancreatic cancer, as well as earlier-Phase trials in lung and renal cell cancer, melanoma and other solid tumor types. ARMO also has a number of other immuno-oncology product candidates in various stages of pre-clinical development.

Sue Mahony, Lilly senior vice president and president of Lilly Oncology noted that the acquisition of ARMO BioSciences adds a promising next generation clinical immunotherapy asset to Lilly’s portfolio of innovative oncology medicines.

Levi Garraway, global development and medical affairs at Lilly Oncology, said that Lilly will pursue medicines that use the body’s immune system in new ways to treat cancer. “We believe that pegilodecakin has a unique immunologic mechanism of action that could eventually allow physicians to offer new hope for many cancer patients.”

Peter Van Vlasselaer, President and Chief Executive Officer of ARMO BioSciences, said: “Given the resources that Lilly, a leader in oncology R&D, can bring to bear to maximize the value of pegilodecakin and the rest of the ARMO pipeline, we believe it is in the best interest of ARMO, our stockholders and the patients we serve, to execute this transaction.”

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