Published On: Sun, Jun 24th, 2018

Lilly wraps up acquisition of immuno-oncology company Armo BioSciences

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Pharma acquisition news : US pharma firm (Lilly) has completed its $1.6 billion acquisition of Armo BioSciences, a California-based late-stage immuno-oncology company.

Armo BioSciences is focused on developing drugs that activate the immune system of patients to identify and eliminate tumors.

Lilly and Armo BioSciences had entered into an agreement last month, under which Lilly agreed to pay $50 per share in an all-cash deal for each share owned by Armo BioSciences’ shareholders.

Lilly acquisition of Armo BioSciences has been done to bolster the former’s immuno-oncology program. This will be by assuming ownership of pegilodecakin, the lead candidate of Armo BioSciences.

Armo said pegilodecakin is a covalent conjugate of recombinant human interleukin-10 (IL-10) and polyethylene glycol (PEG). It is believed to produce an anti-cancer effect by triggering the survival, growth and killing potential of CD8+ T cells that are known to kill cancer cells.

Global headquarters of Eli Lilly and Company aka Lilly in Indianapolis, Indiana

Global headquarters of Eli Lilly and Company aka Lilly in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo courtesy of Guanaco152003/

Currently, being assessed in a phase 3 clinical study in , pegilodecakin has been shown to have demonstrated clinical benefit as a monotherapy, and also when combined with chemotherapy and checkpoint inhibitor therapy, for different tumor forms.

Pegilodecakin is also being evaluated in early-phase studies in and renal cell cancer, melanoma and other solid tumor forms.

Apart from the pegilodecakin immuno-oncology asset, Armo BioSciences also has other immuno-oncology products, which are in different phases of pre-clinical development.

Commenting on Lilly acquisition of Armo BioSciences, Sue Mahony – Lilly senior vice president and president of Lilly Oncology, said: “We are pleased to announce the completion of our acquisition of ARMO BioSciences, which adds a promising clinical immunotherapy asset, pegilodecakin, to Lilly’s oncology portfolio.

“Lilly will continue to pursue medicines that use the body’s immune system in new ways to treat cancer and that have the potential to make a meaningful difference to patients with cancer.”

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