Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, has entered an agreement to acquire Seragon Pharmaceuticals, a privately-held biotechnology company based in San Diego, for $725 million in cash upfront, plus additional payments of as much as $1 billion in potential milestones. Seragon has a portfolio of investigational next-generation oral selective estrogen receptor degraders (SERDs) for the potential treatment of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.
As much as 60% of breast cancers depend on the hormone estrogen and the estrogen receptor to grow and spread. Seragon’s lead candidate, ARN-810, is currently in Phase I trials in patients who have hormone receptor-positive breast cancer and have failed current hormonal agents.
“This year, breast cancer will claim the lives of nearly 40,000 women in the United States, and up to half of these women will have a disease that is driven by the estrogen receptor,” said Richard Scheller, Ph.D., executive vice president and head of Genentech Research and Early Development. “We believe these investigational oral SERDs could one day redefine the standard of care for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.”
The transaction, subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in 3Q14. Once completed, Seragon’s portfolio will be integrated into Genentech Research and Early Development.