Roche Acquires Tusk Therapeutics

Oct 11, 2018
By Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

Roche has acquired Tusk Therapeutics, immuno-oncology company focused on discovering and developing therapeutic antibodies, in a deal worth up to EUR 659 million (US$762 million) (US$81 million upfront and US$677 million in potential milestones).

Tusk has developed an antibody aimed at reducing regulatory T-cells (Tregs). Tregs suppress immune responses, including those against cancer cells. According to Tusk, preclinical data has shown that reducing Tregs from the tumor microenvironment can enhance and/or restore anti-tumor immunity. Tusk’s antibody has been designed to reduce harmful Tregs while not interfering with other immune cells acting against the tumor. Tusk’s program is expected to start clinical trials in cancer patients towards the end of 2019.

Under the terms of the agreement, Tusk’s shareholders will receive an upfront cash payment of EUR 70 million (US$81 million), plus additional contingent payments of up to EUR 585 million (US$677 million) based on achievements of certain predetermined milestones.

“We are delighted that Roche will further develop this novel antibody and drive the development ahead,” said Luc Dochez, CEO at Tusk Therapeutics, in a Sept. 28, 2018 press release. “The remaining portfolio of our immuno-oncology targets will be further developed by Black Belt Therapeutics, a newly formed company spun out of Tusk Therapeutics.”

Source: Tusk Therapeutics

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