Eli Lilly  is buying into the cancer immunotherapy business.

In a deal announced Thursday, Lilly said it will acquire a small biotech, ARMO Biosciences, for $50 per share, or $1.6 billion. The transaction values ARMO shares at a 68 percent premium to their closing price on Wednesday night. ARMO, of Redwood City, CA, is developing a new type of drug that stimulates the immune system to fight cancer.

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