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Roche, Biotech to Partner on Growth Hormone Disorders

Pills in a prescription bottle (


The Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche will license a compound developed by biotechnology company Chiasma Inc., based in New York and Jerusalem, to treat the hormonal disease acromegaly and neuroendocrine tumors. The deal has a total potential value to Chiasma of $595 million.

Chiasma develops drugs for oral administration previously available in injection form. The company’s lead product is Octreolin, an oral form of the peptide octreotide to treat acromegaly, and eventually for neuroendocrine tumors. Octreotide is currently available commercially, but only in injection form.

Acromegaly is a disorder that results from too much growth hormone, made by the pituitary, a small gland in the brain. The disease is most often diagnosed in middle-aged adults, although symptoms can appear at any age. If left treated, acromegaly can result in serious illness — type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis — and premature death.

Octreolin is currently being tested in a phase 3 clinical trial for safety and effectiveness in treating acromegaly. The trial involves some 150 patients with acromegaly at 40 sites in the U.S., Mexico, Israel, and Europe, and is scheduled to run through October 2013.

Under the deal, Roche will receive a worldwide license to Octreolin, and will commercialize the compound through its Genentech subsidiary. Chiasma will continue the clinical trial, and Genetech will market Octreolin in the U.S. upon approval by the FDA. Roche will pay Chiasma $65 million upfront, followed by $530 million in development and commercial milestones, as well as royalties on future sales.

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Hat tip: FirstWord Pharma

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