Roche AG unit Genentech is plunking down $725 million in cash, plus contingent milestone-based payments of up to $1 billion, to purchase Seragon Pharmaceuticals Inc. and its portfolio of oral selective estrogen receptor degraders (SERDs), designed to treat hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.
The acquisition represents just the second in Genentech's 38-year history. The first, a takeover of Tanox Inc., for $20 per share, or $919 million, was centered on asthma drug Xolair (omalizumab), developed in a three-way deal that also included Novartis AG, of Basel, Switzerland. That price tag was crafted, in part to hold off Novartis, which held a 14 percent stake in publicly traded Tanox. (See BioWorld Today, June 23, 2003, and Nov. 13, 2006.)
Seragon's lead product candidate, ARN-810, is in a phase I trial in patients with ER-positive metastatic breast cancer. Seragon has a second SERD candidate that has potential in ER-positive breast