Published On: Fri, Dec 22nd, 2017

US cancer drug maker Ignyta to be acquired by Roche for $1.7bn

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Roche acquisition of Ignyta : Swiss pharma company Roche Pharmaceuticals has signed a merger agreement with Ignyta to acquire the US cancer drug maker for $1.7 billion in an all-cash transaction, in a move to expand its oncology portfolio.

As per the latest pharma acquisition news, Roche will pay $27 per share to Ignyta’s shareholders.

Headquartered in San Diego, California, Ignyta has a portfolio of oncology drugs that are currently in early stage development. These Ignyta cancer drugs are based on gene therapy to destroy the underlying conditions that lead to cancer tumor growth.

Its lead candidate is entrectinib, which is an orally bioavailable, CNS-active tyrosine selective small molecule kinase inhibitor. Entrectinib is being developed by Ignyta for tumours that harbor ROS1 or NTRK fusions.

Roche location in Basel, Switzerland

Roche location in Basel, Switzerland. Photo courtesy of F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd..

The Ignyta tumour drug had previously secured PRIME designation in Europe and Breakthrough Therapy Designation in the United States.

Commenting on Roche acquisition of Ignyta, Daniel O’Day – the CEO of Roche Pharmaceuticals said: “Cancer is a highly complex disease and many patients suffer from mutations which are difficult to detect and treat.

“The agreement with Ignyta builds on Roche’s strategy of fitting treatments to patients and will allow Roche to broaden and strengthen its oncology portfolio globally.”

Post-merger, Ignyta will continue to operate in San Diego. The cancer drug maker will also be responsible for the current phase 2 trial of entrectinib named as STARTRK-2 which is being held in patients with fusions of the ROS1, ALK, and NTRK genes for the treatment of solid tumours.

Jonathan E. Lim – the Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder of Ignyta, commenting on Roche acquisition of Ignyta said:  “Ignyta has been singularly focused on developing precisely targeted therapeutics guided by diagnostics for patients with rare cancers.

“We are excited that Roche, the global leader in both oncology and personalised healthcare, recognises this powerful approach and shares our passion for advancing entrectinib for the benefit of patients.”

Roche acquisition of Ignyta is anticipated to be completed in the first half of 2018.

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