Roche has decided to buy Piramed for $160 million to expand its early-stage cancer pipeline. Roche will pay an additional $15 million as a milestone fee upon the start of a Phase II trial for Piramed’s oncology program. Roche expects to close the transaction during the second quarter.
Piramed’s R&D focus has been on therapeutics targeting PI3-kinase (PI3K). Piramed has a program targeting PI3K-delta for inflammatory diseases in the preclinical stage and is also working on PI3K-alpha for oncology indications. The oncology program has a Phase I compound, which is being partnered by Genentech, in whom Roche has a majority ownership interest.
Roche has been busy picking up companies to beef up different segments of its franchise. Most recently, Roche finalized a deal to take over Ventana Medical Systems for $3.4 billion to pad its diagnostics interest. Last year, Roche spent around $1.08 billion to acquire NimbleGen, BioVeris, Therapeutic Human Polyclonals, and 454 Life Sciences.