Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly announced this week its plans to acquire biopharmaceutical firm Loxo Oncology for an agreed rate of US$235 per share, for a total amount of $8bn. Loxo Oncology, which is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, engages in the development and commercialization of specialized medicines for the treatment of genomically defined cancers.
The deal will be Eli Lilly’s biggest acquisition of an oncology portfolio, and also the second-largest pharmaceutical acquisition of 2019, after the purchase of Celgene by Bristol-Myers last week.
The acquisition will further broaden Eli Lilly’s oncology portfolio with the addition of Loxo’s marketed therapy and a pipeline of potential medicines. Loxo’s portfolio includes:
- LOXO-292, a first-in-class oral RET inhibitor that has been granted Breakthrough Therapy designation by the FDA for three indications, with an initial potential launch in 2020. LOXO-292 targets cancers with alterations to the rearranged during transfection (RET) kinase. RET fusions and mutations occur across multiple tumor types, including certain lung and thyroid cancers as well as a subset of other cancers.
- LOXO-305, an oral BTK inhibitor currently in Phase 1/2. LOXO-305 targets cancers with alterations to the Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK), and is designed to address acquired resistance to currently available BTK inhibitors. BTK is a validated molecular target found across numerous B-cell leukemias and lymphomas.
- Vitrakvi, a first-in-class oral TRK inhibitor developed and commercialized in collaboration with Bayer that was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Vitrakvi is the first treatment that targets a specific genetic abnormality to receive a tumor-agnostic indication at the time of initial FDA approval.
- LOXO-195, a follow-on TRK inhibitor also being studied by Loxo Oncology and Bayer for acquired resistance to TRK inhibition, with a potential launch in 2022.
Josh Bilenker, M.D., chief executive officer of Loxo Oncology said in a press release: “We are gratified that Lilly has recognized our contributions to the field of precision medicine and are excited to see our pipeline benefit from the resources and global reach of the Lilly organization."