Endocyte Inc.'s decision two years ago to shelve its own pipeline and look for other opportunities was a difficult call that eventually paid off for investors, its former CEO said Friday at IBJ’s Life Sciences Power Breakfast.
The escalation in per-share price—which far exceeds that of other recent deals involving Indiana public companies—reflects the unique nature of M&A in the pharmaceutical realm.
The West Lafayette biotech firm’s stock traded as low as $1.41 last fall, following multiple setbacks and restructurings. But the stock had soared to $24 Thursday morning after news that it would be acquired by Novartis.
One year ago, Indiana-based Endocyte Inc. bought the rights to a prostate cancer treatment for $12 million, plus future considerations. On Thursday, Novartis AG agreed to pay almost 200 times that amount to acquire Endocyte and the experimental therapy.
The deal represents a huge breakthrough for tiny Endocyte, which has about 90 employees in Indiana but has not yet launched a single product.
The West Lafayette-based company has named CFO and COO Mike Sherman as new CEO and president, but did not give a reason for the abrupt change in leadership.
Hoosier entrepreneurs in health care and life sciences attracted more than $31 million from investors during the first half of the year. But too few Indiana companies have developed their technology enough to attract venture capitalists or tap stock markets.
The fact that Assembly Biosciences Inc. and AgeneBio now list New York and Baltimore, respectively, as their headquarters cities doesn’t hurt Indiana and could help the state, says David Johnson, CEO of BioCrossroads.
New research shows patients lose trust and confidence in doctors that take money for travel, but like it when their doctors are paid as consultants during the development of new products.
With federal research funding declining, drug companies are taking a larger role funding the medical research happening at IU and universities around the country. That’s not the same thing as paying to market drugs, but it’s hardly without controversy.
Indiana physicians and research organizations reaped more than $25 million in payments from 15 pharmaceutical firms in 2012, according to the most recent data made available by the not-for-profit group ProPublica. Lilly was the biggest spender and the IU medical school was the biggest recipient.
Attempts to build the sector are making headway, but Indiana still lags leading states.
Endocyte Inc.’s stock fell more than 60 percent in early trading Friday after the drug it’s developing with Merck & Co.’s backing failed to help patients in a trial for ovarian cancer.
Now that Indiana-based Endocyte Inc.’s experimental cancer treatment is proving successful, the company may command a takeover bid at one of the industry’s highest premiums on record.
The European Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use is scheduled to meet March 17-20, and analysts expect the agency to vote during that meeting to approve vintafolide, Endocyte’s first drug, which treats ovarian cancer.