$595m octreotide deal grabs Roche

Swiss drugmaker Roche has struck a $595 million (£390 million) deal with US firm Chiasma for Octreolin (octreotide) tablets for treating acromegaly, a rare condition that causes excessive growth.

The active compound, octreotide, is already commercially available as an injection, marketed by Novartis under the name Sandostatin. The tablets are currently in Phase III trials against acromegaly, which is caused by the pituitary gland producing too much growth hormone. The two companies will subsequently look to commercialise the drug for the treatment of neuroendocrine tumours.

Roche will pay $65 million for worldwide marketing rights to the brand and make further payments of up to $530 million as milestones are passed.

Chiasma specialises in turning injectable drug formulations into viable oral equivalents.

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