June 3 (Reuters) - Bristol Myers Squibb Co said on
Friday it will acquire drug developer Turning Point Therapeutics
Inc for $4.1 billion in cash to help bolster its
arsenal of cancer drugs.
Turning Point's lead drug, repotrectinib, targets mutations
in certain proteins in the body that lead to unchecked cell
Bristol Myers will pay $76 per Turning Point share, a 122.5%
premium to its last closing price.
The deal comes at a time when a dearth of large
acquisitions, clinical failures and investor exits following a
gradual easing of the pandemic have hammered biotech stocks.
Wall Street analysts said the deal could help lift sector
The deal "will surprise many investors who over the past
year have begun to believe late-to-market targeted oncology
drugs are likely to be commercial failures," Stifel analyst
Bradley Canino said.
Turning Point's shares, which have fallen roughly 28% this
year, more than doubled to $73.60 in early trading.
Repotrectinib belongs to a class of treatments known as
tyrosine kinase inhibitors, and is being tested to treat
non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and other advanced solid
However, the drug, if approved, will compete in a crowded
market for lung cancer treatments and contend for market share
with Bristol Myers' own drug Opdivo, and other cancer drugs made
by Roche, Merck & Co Inc and AstraZeneca
Bristol Myers said it expects repotrectinib to become a
standard-of-care therapy for certain patients with NSCLC, a
lucrative market for drug developers, when it is approved.
Sales of Bristol Myers' Opdivo have fallen below those of
rival Merck's blockbuster treatment, Keytruda.
Bristol Myers expects U.S. approval for repotrectinib in the
second half of 2023.
(Reporting by Manas Mishra and Amruta Khandekar in Bengaluru;
Editing by Maju Samuel and Shounak Dasgupta)