Roche Targets Inflammatory Disease with Acquisition of Inflazome for $448 Million Upfront
September 21, 2020
Rare Daily Staff
Roche is beefing up its presence in inflammatory disease with the acquisition Irish biotech Inflazome, a pioneer in inflammazome inhibition, for an upfront payment of $448 million (€380 million), and additional contingent payments to be made based on the achievement of certain predetermined milestones.
Inflazome’s lead candidate is an orally available small molecule inhibitor of the NLRP3 inflammasome that can penetrate the brain. One of the best known inflammazomes—multiprotein intracellular complexes that detect pathogens and activate pro-inflammatory response—NLRP3 acts as a ‘danger sensor’ in the body to release the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-18 and induce uncontrolled, lytic cell death (pyroptosis). These processes lead to chronic inflammation, and as such, NLRP3 has been implicated in a large number of diseases.
The company was preparing to test the drug in humans to treat cryopyrin-associated periodic syndrome, an orphan indication characterized by hyper inflammation that can result in mental retardation.
The acquisition gives Roche full rights to Inflazome’s entire portfolio, which is composed of clinical and preclinical orally available small molecule NLRP3 inhibitors. NLRP3 is an inflammasome implicated in many diseases caused by chronic, uncontrolled inflammation. Roche intends to further develop NLRP3 inhibitors across a wide variety of indications with high unmet medical need.
“With Inflazome now part of the Roche organization,” said Matt Cooper, CEO of Inflazome, “Inflazome’s pioneering molecules are well positioned to be developed quickly and effectively so they can help patients suffering from debilitating diseases.”
Photo: Matt Cooper, CEO of Inflazome
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