Eli Lilly, the Indianapolis-based drug giant, said Monday that it will purchase Loxo Oncology, a tiny startup, for $8 billion in cash to gain access to the company’s cancer medicines, one of which is on the market.

The deal price of $235 per share represents an 85 percent premium to Loxo’s closing price on Friday, and a rich gain for Loxo shareholders. Shares in the Stamford, Conn., company had already risen 975 percent since its September 2014 initial public offering. The reason: two experimental cancer pills that worked fantastically well in very small numbers of patients.

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