Japanese biotech Ono Pharmaceutical is acquiring Deciphera Pharmaceuticals for $2.4 billion, the companies announced Monday.

The move serves to bolster Ono’s cancer pipeline, with oncology pinpointed as one of the biotech’s key priority areas going forward.

Deciphera, which specializes in kinase drug discovery, brings with it Qinlock (ripretinib), a switch-control inhibitor for fourth-line gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). Four years ago, Qinlock was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Additionally, Deciphera will bring other cancer pipeline assets to Ono, including vimseltinib, which is currently being investigated in the treatment of tenosynovial giant cell tumor (TGCT). Deciphera noted earlier this year that it plans to submit vimseltinib to the FDA for approval in the second quarter.

DCC-3116 is another investigational drug Deciphera has been testing for cancers that are caused by the RAS/RAF mutations.

“We expect that this acquisition of Deciphera will not only expand Ono’s target oncology portfolio, but also accelerate Ono’s business development in the U.S. and Europe, and strengthen kinase drug discovery research,” said Gyo Sagara, representative director, chairman of the board and CEO of Ono, in a statement.

Deciphera CEO Steven Hoerter noted in a statement that the two companies expect to advance and accelerate each other’s work through combined research and development capabilities and a global commercial footprint.

The acquisition is structured as a tender offer and merger of Deciphera along with a subsidiary of Ono. Once the deal is completed, Deciphera will operate as a standalone unit of Ono Group, and continue to be based out of its headquarters in Massachusetts.

The buyout is the latest in a slew of acquisitions so far in 2024, as the pharma industry recovers from a post-COVID decline in M&A activity. The industry can expect to see more robust M&A activity in 2024, according to a recent report out of EY.

The biggest acquisition of 2024 so far has been Gilead Sciences’ purchase of CymaBay Therapeutics for $4.3 billion. Others include J&J’s buyout of Ambrx Biopharma and Merck’s Harpoon Therapeutics deal. Most recently, Incyte picked up Escient Pharmaceuticals for $750 million.