Roche buys Trophos of France to expand neuromuscular disease portfolio

Trophos shareholders to receive cash payment of €120m plus additional payments of up to €350m

Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche has agreed to acquire French biotechnology company Trophos to gain access to a drug being developed to treat genetic neuromuscular disease.

Under the terms of the deal, the shareholders of Trophos, which is based in Marseille, will receive an upfront cash payment of €120m, plus further payments of up to €350m based on certain predetermined milestones.

The deal will bring olesoxime (TRO19622) to Roche, which is being developed for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a disease that is most commonly diagnosed in children.

SMA is a life-limiting and disabling genetic disease characterised by progressive muscle weakness and loss of motor function.

Sandra Horning, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Product Development at Roche, said: 'We will build on the work done by Trophos and the French Muscular Dystrophy Association to advance the development of olesoxime and to bring it to people who live with this devastating condition as quickly as possible.'

Olesoxime has been granted Orphan Medicinal Product designation for the treatment of SMA by the European Medicines Agency and orphan drug designation by the US FDA.

Results of a Phase II study presented in April 2014 found that the drug had a beneficial effect on the maintenance of neuromuscular function and also helped reduce medical complications associated with the disease.

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