The FINANCIAL -- Eli Lilly and Company and ARMO BioSciences, Inc. on May 10 announced a definitive agreement for Lilly to acquire ARMO for $50 per share, or approximately $1.6 billion, in an all-cash transaction.
ARMO BioSciences is a late-stage immuno-oncology company that is developing a pipeline of novel, proprietary product candidates designed to activate the immune system of cancer patients to recognize and eradicate tumors.
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 demonstrated 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, according to Eli Lilly and Company.
"At Lilly Oncology, we are dedicated to developing cancer medicines that will make a meaningful difference for patients," said Sue Mahony, Ph.D., Lilly senior vice president and president of Lilly Oncology. "The acquisition of ARMO BioSciences adds a promising next generation clinical immunotherapy asset to Lilly's portfolio of innovative oncology medicines."
"As we develop our immuno-oncology portfolio, Lilly will pursue medicines that use the body's immune system in new ways to treat cancer," added Levi Garraway, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president, global development and medical affairs, Lilly Oncology, "We believe that pegilodecakin has a unique immunologic mechanism of action that could eventually allow physicians to offer new hope for many cancer patients."
"ARMO is proud of the work we have done to advance the study of immunotherapies and of the development of pegilodecakin to-date," said Peter Van Vlasselaer, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of ARMO BioSciences. "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."
Under the terms of the agreement, Lilly will promptly commence a tender offer to acquire all shares of ARMO BioSciences for a purchase price of $50 per share in cash, or approximately $1.6 billion. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of 2018, subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of required regulatory approvals and the tender of a majority of the outstanding shares of ARMO's common stock. Very shortly after the closing of the tender offer, Lilly will acquire any shares of ARMO that are not tendered into the tender offer through a second-step merger at the tender offer price.
This transaction will be reflected in Lilly's reported results and financial guidance according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), and is subject to customary closing conditions. There will be no change to Lilly's 2018 non-GAAP earnings per share guidance as a result of this transaction.
Credit Suisse is acting as the exclusive financial advisor and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is acting as legal advisor to Lilly in this transaction. Centerview Partners LLC is acting as lead financial advisor to ARMO BioSciences and the Board, and Jefferies LLC is providing financial advice to ARMO, and Gunderson Dettmer is acting as legal advisor to ARMO.