Novartis will acquire Mariana Oncology for up to $1.75 billion

Mariana Oncology

Novartis will acquire Mariana Oncology, a fully integrated biotechnology company and pioneer in a new era of radiopharmaceutical innovation for treating people with cancer, for $1 billion upfront and up to $750 million in potential milestone payments, a statement noted.

With this acquisition, Mariana Oncology’s innovative radiopharmaceutical platform is combined with Novartis’s proven expertise in clinical development and commercialization.

Mariana Oncology has developed a robust portfolio of revolutionary peptide-based radiopharmaceuticals targeting a broad spectrum of solid tumor cancers and has invested in manufacturing capabilities, an extensive isotope supply chain, and novel formulations to enhance the shelf life of the final product. The company’s lead program, MC-339, is a new radioligand therapy (RLT) designed to treat small cell lung cancer.

“Novartis, a consolidated leader in the commercialization of radiopharmaceuticals, has a top-tier team and global reach. Together, we offer a compelling combination of capabilities,” said Simon Read, founder and CEO of Mariana Oncology.

“In the short time since the company’s founding, the Mariana Oncology team has developed a leading radiopharmaceutical discovery platform and an innovative production line. Our strategy focuses on overcoming the unique challenges of radiopharmaceutical R&D from start to finish and, ultimately, delivering these drugs to the patient’s bedside. Both Mariana and Novartis are committed to transforming cancer care, and together we will be better positioned to achieve this.”

Shiva Malek, PhD, Global Head of Oncology for Biomedical Research at Novartis, said, “This acquisition of Mariana Oncology brings Novartis exceptional talent and new capabilities in radioligand therapeutic research that complement our internal drug research and discovery efforts, as well as our translational and clinical development capabilities”.

“This is an ideal pairing, therefore, we are thrilled to continue doing pioneering science together, translating RLT discovery into clinical development to deliver transformative therapies to patients.”

Mariana was founded in 2021 by Atlas Venture, Access Biotechnology, and RA Capital Management, and has secured additional funding from other top-tier investors such as DeepTrack Capital and Forbion.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. Centerview Partners LLC was the financial advisor, and Goodwin Procter was the legal advisor to Mariana Oncology in the transaction.

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