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Under the terms of the agreement, Roche will make an upfront cash payment of $250 million to Santaris Pharma shareholders and make additional contingent payments of up to $200 million based on the achievement of certain predetermined milestones.
"Today there are many disease targets that are very challenging or even impossible to reach with small molecules or antibodies," said Mr John C Reed, head, Roche Pharma Research and Early Development. "We believe the LNA platform provides the means to efficiently discover and develop an important new class of medicines that may address the significant needs of patients across multiple therapeutic areas."
Santaris Pharma has pioneered its proprietary Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA) platform that has contributed to an emerging era of RNA-targeting therapeutics.
This new class of medicines has the potential to address difficult to treat diseases in a range of therapeutic areas.
"Roche and Santaris have complementary capabilities that will help us realize breakthrough medicines," stated Mr J Donald deBethizy, president and CEO, Santaris Pharma. "The acquisition combines Santaris Pharma's next-generation antisense technology and LNA expertise with Roche's deep experience in disease biology, chemistry, drug safety, drug formulation, delivery, and development."