Sector News

Roche chases bolt-on acquisitions as it pushes into genomics

January 28, 2015
Life sciences
A recent spending spree by Roche is intended to take advantage of emerging molecular information and genomic analysis, as the company anticipates that the field will play an increasingly important role for future medicines and diagnostics.
 
‘By harnessing the power of widespread whole genome sequencing, we are hoping to gain valuable insights into new targets, pathways and biomarkers to advance the progress of personalised treatments,’ says Roche spokeswoman Nadine Pinell.
 
Roche seems to be on the same page as US President Obama, whose State of the Union speech on 20 January included a push to fund ‘precision medicine’ treatments. Specifically, Obama proposed a new initiative intended to facilitate better treatments based on a patient’s genetic makeup and disease subtype.
 
Four deals this year
In January alone, Roche committed to four separate deals, including a $780 million purchase of a majority stake in US-based Foundation Medicine, to look at molecular information in oncology.
 
Just a few days later, the company agreed to acquire French biotechnology firm Trophos, whose proprietary screening platform generated the compound olesoxime, which is being developed to treat patients with a rare and debilitating genetic neuromuscular disease called spinal muscular atrophy
 
Roche also recently bought a license to an investigational molecule that prevent bacteria from breaking down penicillin-type antibiotics to help overcome resistance. Under the agreement, Meiji Seika Pharma in Japan and Fedora Pharmaceuticals in Canada will receive upfront plus development, regulatory and sales milestone payments totalling as much as $750 million, plus royalties on any products originating from the collaboration.
 
Finally, in the first half of January, Roche also licensed out some of its cancer diagnosis technology to diagnostics specialist Qiagen, based in the Netherlands. ‘Ensuring that assays that utilise Roche proprietary information are fully licensed is a key business strategy for us,’ said Paul Brown, head of Roche Molecular Diagnostics, in a statement at the time.
 
By Rebecca Trager
 

comments closed

Related News

October 23, 2021

Novo Nordisk teams with CVS Health on obesity support program ahead of Wegovy DTC launch

Life sciences

As Novo Nordisk gears up to disrupt the obesity market with its newly approved weight-loss drug Wegovy, it is teaming with retail pharmacy giant CVS Health on a new education and nutrition coaching program for people taking anti-obesity meds.

October 23, 2021

GSK-backed Atreca inks license with Gates Medical Research Institute for malaria monoclonal antibody

Life sciences

The terms of the deal were undisclosed, but Atreca received $6 million from the Gates Foundation in 2012 to discover potential treatments for malaria, tuberculosis and HIV. The foundation has also given grant money to other biopharmas exploring malaria treatments, including Exscientia, which secured $4.2 million last year for such work.

October 23, 2021

A record number of biotechs are going public. Here’s how they’re performing.

Life sciences

At the start of the last decade, the IPO markets weren’t receptive to biotech companies. But by 2013, public investment was pouring into the industry, drawn by scientific advances and boosted by the newfound interest of a broader range of investors. Ever since, biotechs and their backers have ridden a multi-year boom. Keep track of them as they happen with this database.

Send this to a friend