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Loxo Oncology to be acquired in multibillion dollar deal

January 7, 2019

STAMFORD — Loxo Oncology announced Monday that it would be acquired for approximately $8 billion by pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co., a deal that comes several weeks after its first cancer drug was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

The acquisition shows the widespread belief in the potential of Stamford-based Loxo’s drugs, which have been hailed by doctors for offering more personalized, gene-based cancer treatments. Vitrakvi, which was endorsed by the FDA in late November, is a first-of-its-kind medication for adult and pediatric patients with solid tumors that have the “TRK fusion” genetic mutation.

“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,” Loxo CEO Josh Bilenker said in a statement. “Tumor genomic profiling is becoming standard-of-care, and it will be critical to continue innovating against new targets, while anticipating mechanisms of resistance to available therapies, so that patients with advanced cancer have the chance to live longer and better lives.”

The acquisition would represent the largest in a series of recent deals by Indianapolis, Ind.-based Lilly that are intended to broaden its cancer treatment efforts.

“Lilly Oncology is committed to developing innovative, breakthrough medicines that will make a meaningful difference for people with cancer and help them live longer, healthier lives,” Anne White, president of Eli Lilly’s oncology division, said in a statement. “The acquisition of Loxo Oncology represents an exciting and immediate opportunity to expand the breadth of our portfolio into precision medicines and target cancers that are caused by specific gene abnormalities.”

Founded in 2013, Loxo is based at 281 Tresser Blvd., in downtown Stamford.

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