Roche snapped up the UK's Piramed today in a $175 million deal that includes a $15 million milestone payment--the latest in a series of new acquisitions. Roche gets Piramed's programs involving PI3-K inhibitors for cancer and immune inflammatory diseases like arthritis. The milestone payment is for starting the mid-stage trial for cancer. Piramed's work on treating immune inflammatory diseases is in the preclinical phase.Â Â
Roche has been busily snapping up biotechs to beef up its pipeline work. And this deal marks the first buyout by new Roche CEO Severin SchwanÂ (photo), who engineered a series of deals as head of the company's diagnostics unit. The news of the buyout came as Roche announced that Rituxan had failed in a trial for multiple sclerosis.
"The acquisition of Piramed is a positive step and allows Roche to access a PI3-K inhibitor program, which has become an important emerging target for the treatment of cancers and auto-immune diseases," said Vontobel analyst Karl Heinz Koch.
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