Genentech to purchase Seragon Pharmaceuticals for up to US$1.725bn

Strengthens oncology pipeline and offers a potential new approach for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer

Roche Group company Genentech will buy Seragon Pharmaceuticals, a privately held biotechnology company based in San Diego, CA, US for up to US$1.725bn.

Genentech will gain the rights to Seragon’s portfolio of so-called investigational selective estrogen receptor degraders (SERDs) for the treatment of breast cancer.

'We believe these investigational oral SERDs could one day redefine the standard of care for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer,' said Richard Scheller, Executive Vice President and Head of Genentech Research and Early Development.

Under the terms of the agreement, Genentech will make an upfront cash payment of $725m, plus additional contingent payments of up to $1bn based on achievement of certain predetermined milestones.

Seragon is developing a new generation of oral medicines that it believes offer an improved way of tackling hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, and potentially other cancers.

Its most advanced experimental drug, ARN-810, is currently in initial Phase I clinical trials for breast cancer patients who have not responded to current hormonal agents.

Roche said Seragon's SERDs would complement existing research and development programmes in breast cancer underway at Genentech.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014. Once the deal is finalised, Seragon’s portfolio will be integrated into Genentech Research and Early Development.

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