Roche Holdings Ltd.
) subsidiary, Genentech, and Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc. recently
announced a collaboration for the discovery and development of
compounds and companion diagnostics for the treatment of pain.
According to the terms of the agreement, Genentech will have an
exclusive license to compounds and a non-exclusive license to
diagnostics from Xenon for the development and commercialization of
products. In return Xenon will receive an undisclosed upfront
payment and research funding.
Xenon is also eligible to receive up to $646 million in the form
of research, development and commercialization milestone payments,
for the products developed under the collaboration. Additionally,
Xenon will receive royalties on the sale of these products.
We note that Roche has been busy acquiring companies and signing
new deals. In the fourth quarter of 2011, the company acquired
Anadys Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $230 million. We note that this
acquisition augmented Roche's hepatitis C virus (HCV) portfolio,
with Anadys' lead pipeline candidate -- setrobuvir (ANA598).
Moreover, in September 2011, the company entered into a
worldwide agreement with
) for the development and commercialization of the latter's
Alzheimer's disease (AD) candidate EVT 302. Under the agreement,
Roche is responsible for all clinical development, manufacturing
and commercialization activities of the candidate. The company
plans to initiate proof of concept studies of EVT 302 in 2012.
Also, in July 2011, Roche and
Merck & Co. Inc.
) inked a worldwide non-exclusive agreement to market a triple
combination therapy, which includes Merck's Victrelis (boceprevir),
peginterferon alfa and ribavirin for HCV. According to the
agreement, Roche and Merck will work together worldwide and educate
physicians and patients about HCV.
Although, in the short-term we have a Zacks #4 Rank (Sell
rating) on Roche, we believe that these transactions will help add
to the company's portfolio, thereby driving long-term growth.
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