Roche has announced that Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Seragon Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company based in San Diego. With this acquisition, Genentech obtains rights to Seragon's portfolio of investigational next-generation 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 transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014, subject to customary closing conditions. Once the transaction is completed, Seragon’s portfolio will be integrated into Genentech Research and Early Development.
Scientists at Seragon have developed next-generation selective estrogen receptor degraders (SERDs). This class of medicines is designed to both block estradiol action at the estrogen receptor and also eliminate the estrogen receptor from the cell altogether.
Seragon’s lead product candidate, ARN-810, is a next-generation SERD that is currently in Phase I clinical trials for patients who have hormone receptor-positive breast cancer and have failed current hormonal agents. These next-generation SERDs complement Genentech’s existing research and development programs in breast cancer, the company reports.