Genentech to Acquire Seragon Pharmaceuticals

Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, has agreed to acquire Seragon Pharmaceuticals, Inc.,  a privately held biotechnology company based in San Diego, California. With this acquisition, Genentech obtains rights to Seragon's entire portfolio of investigational  oral selective estrogen receptor degraders (SERDs) for the potential treatment of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.

Under the terms of the agreement, Genentech will make an upfront cash payment of $725 million, plus additional contingent payments of up to $1 billion based on achievement of certain predetermined milestones. The closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014. Once the transaction is completed, Seragon's portfolio will be integrated into Genentech Research and Early Development.

SERDs are a class of medicines designed to both block estradiol action at the estrogen receptor and also eliminate the estrogen receptor from the cell altogether. It is believed that SERDs change the shape of the estrogen receptor in a manner that targets it for elimination by the cell. SERDs may offer an improved approach to treating hormone receptor-positive breast cancer and potentially other cancers driven by the estrogen receptor. Seragon's lead product candidate, ARN-810, is a SERD that is currently in Phase I clinical trials for patients who have hormone receptor-positive breast cancer and have failed current hormonal agents. Seragon was spun out of Aragon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. prior to the sale of Aragon to Johnson & Johnson in August 2013.

Source: Roche and Seragon Pharmaceuticals  

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