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Lilly swoops on Morphic to claim IBD drug candidate

July 8, 2024

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Lilly is launching a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Morphic for a purchase price of $57 per share in cash, prompting shares in the biotech to rocket 77% from $31.84 to $56.40 at the time of writing. The deal is expected to close sometime in the third quarter.

MORF-057 is an α4β7 integrin inhibitor currently in a pair of phase 2 trials in ulcerative colitis and a third in Crohn’s disease. It is trying to become an oral alternative to Takeda’s $6.4 billion blockbuster Entyvio (vedolizumab), an injectable α4β7 integrin inhibitor that has been approved by the FDA for IBD for a decade, initially as an intravenous infusion and since last year as a subcutaneous injection.

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