Roche Buys US Biotech

The Swiss biopharma giant is set to acquire the Berkeley, California–based drug developer Adheron Therapeutics in a $580-million deal.

Oct 13, 2015
Tracy Vence

Cadherins are transmembrane proteins that play roles in cell-cell adhesion. WIKIMEDIA, MARIANA RUIZ In a deal worth up to $580 million, Roche is buying the Berkeley, California-based biotech Adheron Therapeutics, Reuters reported last week (October 9). Adheron is developing drugs to treat inflammatory and autoimmune diseases that target cadherin-11. Its lead candidate, SDP051, is a humanized monoclonal antibody that targets the protein. SDP051 completed a Phase 1 clinical trial last year.

“This deal brings together Adheron’s deep understanding of the underlying science of Cadherin-11 with Roche’s vast experience in researching and developing next generation medicines,” Hari Kumar, Adheron’s chief executive, said in a statement. “We are proud to move our promising investigational medicine to the next level and into a new home at Roche.”

According to FierceBiotech, “Adheron now has a partner with deep experience in autoimmune diseases, with the blockbuster arthritis treatment Rituxan to its name and a pipeline of early-stage drugs in the same field.” FierceBiotech pointed to Roche’s 2014 acquisition of Intermune, a Brisbane, California–based biotech that was developing a drug to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. That deal was reportedly worth $8.3 billion.