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Big Biotech is Betting on Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Treatments

October 5, 2023
x min read

Eli Lilly is making big acquisition in an exciting new area of cancer biotechnology.

What’s happening:

  • Eli Lilly has announced they are purchasing radiopharmaceutical company POINT Biopharma (NASDAQ: PNT) for $1.4B USD
  • The acquisition marks Eli Lilly’s biggest bet yet on the radiopharmaceutical cancer space

Why it matters:

  • Radiopharmaceutical treatments for cancer is a highly exciting area of biotech that has been attracting venture capital and public markets investment
  • Pharma giant Novartis recently paid $40M to for exclusive licensing rights to German based 3B Pharmaceuticals for their radiopharmaceutical technology for cancer
  • The deal between Novartis and 3B Pharmaceuticals allows the potential for 3B to earn $425M USD upon hitting certain milestones tied to royalties

Market reaction:

  • Shares of POINT Biopharma rocketed up 85% on the news of the acquisition

How it works:

  • Radiation therapy is a pillar of cancer treatments but since it is done externally it has numerous side effects from negatively affecting normal tissue in the body
  • Radiopharmaceutical treatments for cancer is different because it aims to deliver radiation therapy directly to cancer cells
  • Research shows that targeting cancer directly at the cellular level has the potential to drastically reduce short term and long term side effects of radiation treatments

Going deeper:

  • Eli Lilly recently was a large investor in radiopharmaceutical cancer startup Mariana Oncology’s $175M Series B round
  • Novartis already has two approved radiopharmaceutical drugs, including one for prostate cancer

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