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Home Industry News Roche acquires Piramed

Roche acquires Piramed

15th April 2008

Roche has announced that it has fully acquired the privately owned biotechnology firm Piramed and in doing so has gained access to an important oncology target with the potential for treating breast, lung and other cancers.

Piramed focuses on therapeutics targeting P13-kinase, a pathway known to play a key role in resistance to chemotherapy in cancer cells and disease progression, with pre-clinical studies showing the activity of such inhibitors in a range of tumours.

These inhibitors have also shown potential as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.

Piramed has two major research programmes, focusing on P13-kinase-alpha in oncology and P13-kinase-delta in inflammatory disease.

The first programme has a compound currently being developed in conjunction with Genentech, a company in which Roche has a majority ownership interest, that is currently in phase I of clinical development.

William M Burns, chief executive officer of pharmaceuticals at Roche, said: “The integration of Piramed’s promising research and development reaffirms and further strengthens Roche’s leadership in oncology.”

He added that the company is dedicated to investing resources into the development of new treatment options for cancer, which remains a major cause of death.

Last month, the annual general meeting approved the annual report and financial statements for Roche for 2007, while raising the dividend for shareholders by 35 per cent.

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