Genentech to buy breast cancer specialist Seragon

Roche subsidiary Genentech has agreed to pay $725 million (£422 million) up front, plus up to $1 billion in milestone payments, for fledgling biotech firm Seragon Pharmaceuticals. The deal gives Genentech access to Seragon’s pipeline of investigational breast cancer therapies that work by destroying oestrogen receptors on the surface of cancer cells.

Certain breast cancers rely on the hormone oestrogen to grow and spread. Seragon’s drug candidates are designed to eliminate the tumours’ ability to develop resistance to drugs that block oestrogen receptors (including tamoxifen) or interfere with its production (such as aromatase inhibitors).

Seragon was only formed as a company in 2013. It was spun out of Aragon Pharmaceuticals when that company sold its hormone-based prostate cancer treatment pipeline to Johnson and Johnson.

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