Pretoria News - - BUSINESS REPORT -

NO­VAR­TIS agreed to buy US drug maker Endocyte for $2.1 bil­lion (R30.34bn), snap­ping up a po­ten­tial block­buster ther­apy for prostate can­cer as the Swiss phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal gi­ant broad­ens its arse­nal against tu­mors. No­var­tis will pay $24 a share for Endocyte, 54 per­cent more than its last clos­ing price, the Basel-based com­pany said Thurs­day. Endocyte makes ra­dioac­tive drugs cou­pled with tar­get­ing mol­e­cules to de­liver treat­ments to tu­mors. The ap­proach is one of three key ar­eas, along with cell and gene ther­a­pies, where No­var­tis is keen to ex­pand, and chief ex­ec­u­tive Vas Narasimhan sig­nalled that he still hasn’t fin­ished rais­ing the drug maker’s pro­file in those fields. The com­pany re­mains in­ter­ested in bolt-on ac­qui­si­tions, he said. “We be­lieve we need to move into ad­vanced-ther­apy plat­forms,” Narasimhan said in an in­ter­view on Bloomberg Tele­vi­sion. | Bloomberg

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