Roche buys Santaris

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Roche buys Santaris
Roche buys Santaris

Following through with its July assertion that Roche wasn't looking for a mega deal, the Swiss company has gone for a smallish one: the purchase of private biotech Santaris, which is based in Copenhagen.

The $250 million cash deal includes up to an additional $200 million in milestone payments and tucks the Santaris Locked Nucleic Acid drug platform, known as LNA, into Roche's R&D pocket.

It also brings the pharmaceutical industry a bit closer together—Santaris has development agreements with several companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Shire (soon to be known as AbbVie) and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Roche's research lead John Reed said in a statement that Santaris's platform will help the company develop a new class of medicines, particularly because “there are many disease targets that are very challenging or even impossible to reach with small molecules or antibodies.”

The partners expect to close the deal this month, and Roche said in a statement that it expects to keep the Danish operations open, albeit with the new name Roche Innovation Center Copenhagen.

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