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Novartis acquires Purdue cancer therapy spinout for $2.1 billion

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: October 24th, 2018

Pharmaceutical company Novartis AG has acquired a Purdue University spinout focused on cancer treatments for $2.1 billion. Although the school did not include information on its share of the proceeds, a 5% stake would net more than $100 million, and even 1% would bring a not-too-shabby $21 million. 

Launched in 1996, Endocyte Inc. is the first Purdue start-up to reach $1.5 billion in value. The company is developing an experimental therapy known as 177Lu-PSMA-617 to treat advanced prostate cancer.

“The team has been executing exceptionally well, advancing this prostate cancer therapy ahead of most expectations,” says Mike Sherman, president and CEO of Endocyte. “This has allowed us to raise additional capital, positioning us to bring this and other drugs forward to potentially improve and extend the lives of more patients, more quickly.”

The sale to Novartis is a major milestone for Purdue, which has made significant efforts over the past several administrations to commercialize groundbreaking university research.

“The sale of Endocyte is a landmark moment, but given the explosion in entrepreneurship and new startups at Purdue, I’m sure it’s the first of many to come,” says Purdue president Mitch Daniels. “We are so deeply proud of our Purdue scientists whose genius is saving lives from cancer, and now has brought great new wealth to Indiana.”

Suresh Garimella, executive vice president of research and partnerships at Purdue, calls the acquisition “a fantastic example and serious demonstration of the wisdom of our focus on the entrepreneurship ecosystem and on empowering our faculty to reach their goals.”

Source: Lafayette Journal & Courier

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