Issue Date: August 11, 2014
Roche Acquires RNA Specialist Santaris
Roche is paying $250 million up front to acquire Santaris Pharma, a Danish biotech firm focused on RNA-based therapeutics. Santaris shareholders could reap another $200 million if certain milestones are met. Roche will keep Santaris’s Copenhagen site, where the firm develops antisense drugs based on its nucleic acid chemistry platform. The deal marks Roche’s second foray into RNA-based therapeutics. Between 2007 and 2010, Roche invested some $500 million in siRNA technology through partnerships with Alnylam and Tekmira and the acquisition of Mirus Bio. The big pharma firm exited the field in 2010, shutting down three related sites.
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