Issue Date: October 24, 2011
Roche To Acquire Anadys
To bolster its pipeline of hepatitis C virus (HCV) therapies, Roche has agreed to acquire Anadys Pharmaceuticals, a developer of small-molecule HCV treatments, for about $230 million. Anadys recently reported positive data on Phase IIb clinical trials of setrobuvir, the company’s most advanced drug candidate, in combination with PEGylated interferon and ribavirin. “Anadys’ compounds provide additional modes of action that could lead to interferon-free treatment regimens without viral resistance,” says Jean-Jacques Garaud, Roche’s global head of pharma research and early development. The Swiss firm’s current HCV portfolio includes blood tests and Pegasys, a once-a-week injection of PEGylated interferon. Earlier this year, Roche signed a nonexclusive pact with Merck & Co. under which it will promote Pegasys in combination with Merck’s newly approved Victrelis, a protease inhibitor for HCV. Vertex Pharmaceuticals also entered the HCV field recently with the protease inhibitor Incivek.
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