) recently entered into an agreement with privately-held
biopharma company Chiasma Inc. to develop and commercialize the
latter's pipeline candidate, octreolin.
As per the agreement, octreolin will be initially developed
for acromegaly and subsequently for neuroendocrine tumors.
Acromegaly is a disorder that develops when a
person's pituitary gland produces excessive growth
Octreolin is an oral form of the peptide octreotide, a
samatostatin analog, which is commercially available only by
injection. Currently, octreolin is in a phase III clinical trial
for acromegaly. If successfully developed and commercialized,
octreolin will allow patients to avoid painful injections.
The agreement provides an exclusive worldwide license to Roche
for the commercialization of Octreolin. Genentech, a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Roche will market the product in the US following
approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Roche will make an upfront payment of $65 million to Chiasma
along with milestone payments and royalties of up to $530
We note that Roche entered into drug discovery
collaboration with privately-held RQx Pharmaceuticals on Feb 12,
The collaboration is primarily for the discovery and
development of novel drug compounds for an undisclosed target. As
per the collaboration agreement, RQx will receive an upfront
payment along with being entitled to receive research and
development milestone payments for $111 million.
Additionally, RQx will also receive royalties on sales of
products resulting from the collaboration.
We are positive on the current developments at Roche. Roche
carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). However, other large cap pharma
stocks, such as
Eli Lilly and Company
) currently look attractive with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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