Roche looks to acquire Ignyta for $1.7bn

By Catherine Sturman
Pharmaceutical giant Roche is set to acquire biotechnology company Ignyta for US$1.7bn (US$27 per share). Situated in San Diego, California, Ignyta deve...

Pharmaceutical giant Roche is set to acquire biotechnology company Ignyta for US$1.7bn (US$27 per share). Situated in San Diego, California, Ignyta develops potentially life-saving, precisely targeted therapeutics (Rx) guided by diagnostic (Dx) tests to patients with cancer.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Roche will commence a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Ignyta common stock, and Ignyta will file a recommendation statement containing the unanimous recommendation of the Ignyta board that Ignyta’s shareholders tender their shares to Roche.

The all-cash transaction will support Roche’s ambitions to develop further personalised treatments within its oncology portfolio, a move which is supported by the boards of both companies.

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One key area of interest is Ignyta’s investigational medicine entrectinib, a selective CNS-active tyrosine-kinase inhibitor being developed for tumours which harbour ROS1 proteins or (neurotropic tropomyosin receptor kinase) NTRK fusions in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and NTRK fusions across a broad range of solid tumours.

The inhibitor has now also been granted PRIME designation by EMA and Breakthrough Therapy Designation by Food & Drug Administration.

“Cancer is a highly complex disease and many patients suffer from mutations which are difficult to detect and treat,” commented Daniel O’Day, CEO Roche Pharmaceuticals. “The agreement with Ignyta builds on Roche’s strategy of fitting treatments to patients and will allow Roche to broaden and strengthen its oncology portfolio globally.”

The Roche Group remains active in over 100 countries and in 2016 invested CHF 9.9bn in research and development, posting sales of CHF 50.6bn billion.

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