The offer of $235 per share in cash represents a premium of about 68 percent to Loxo’s Friday close. Loxo’s shares surged 32.8 percent to $185.70 in light trading before the bell, while those of Lilly dropped 2.7 percent to $111.60.
Last year, U.S. regulators approved Loxo’s first commercial medicine, Vitrakvi, which was shown to be effective against a wide variety of cancers driven by a single, rare genetic mutation. The drug is sold in partnership with Bayer.
Loxo Oncology is developing a pipeline of targeted medicines focused on such cancers that can be detected by genomic testing.
Deutsche Bank is Lilly’s financial adviser and Weil, Gotshal & Manges is its legal adviser. Goldman Sachs is the financial adviser, while Fenwick & West is legal adviser to Loxo.
—CNBC contributed to this report.