By Mauro Orru

Novartis agreed to acquire U.S. biotechnology company Mariana Oncology for up to $1.75 billion, in a deal that bolsters its radioligand therapy pipeline and efforts to develop cancer treatments.

The Swiss pharmaceutical company said Thursday that it would pay $1 billion up front for Watertown, Mass.-based Mariana Oncology, with an additional $750 million in payments upon completion of certain milestones.

Mariana Oncology focuses on novel radioligand therapies, or RLTs, to treat cancers. RLTs bind to specific receptors on the surface of certain types of tumors. Once bound, emissions from therapeutic radioisotopes cause DNA damage that can inhibit cell growth and replication.

Novartis currently has two approved RLTs for patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer and certain types of gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.

The deal is subject to customary closing conditions.

Write to Mauro Orru at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-02-24 0736ET