Dicerna, Roche strike $1.67bn deal for hepatitis B virus therapies


Dicerna Pharmaceuticals has secured a research collaboration and licensing deal worth up to $1.67 billion with Roche to develop new drugs for chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection using its GalXC RNAi platform technology.

The collaboration between the Dicerna Pharmaceuticals and the Swiss drugmaker will focus on the global development and commercialization of the former’s investigational therapy DCR-HBVS in phase 1 clinical development.

Douglas M. Fambrough – president and CEO of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals said: “Dicerna is excited to collaborate with Roche to realize the full potential of DCR-HBVS and leverage our GalXC platform to target and silence specific genes that contribute to chronic hepatitis B virus infection.

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“With its deep expertise in HBV and established global infrastructure, Roche is ideally suited to help us accelerate the development and commercialization of DCR-HBVS, pursue a cure for chronic HBV infection, and address this serious global threat to public health.”

Roche signs $1.67bn deal with Dicerna Pharmaceuticals for hepatitis B virus therapies

Roche signs $1.67bn deal with Dicerna Pharmaceuticals for hepatitis B virus therapies. F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.

As per the terms of the deal, Dicerna Pharmaceuticals will get an initial upfront payment of $200 million from the Swiss drugmaker and could stand to receive up to an additional $1.47 billion over time based on specified development, regulatory and commercial milestones.

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Additionally, the US biopharma company could be eligible to get royalties based on product sales of DCR-HBVS in the future. Dicerna Pharmaceuticals will have an option to co-fund the global development of DCR-HBVS, which if exercised, will make it eligible for increased royalties and also enable it to co-promote products including DCR-HBVS in the US.

John Young –  Roche Pharma Early Research & Development global head of Infectious Diseases said: “We are excited to engage in a clinical partnership and research collaboration with Dicerna.

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“This partnership builds upon our existing portfolio and internal expertise and positions us well to develop a best-in-disease therapy to cure chronic HBV infection.”

According to the US biopharma company, the collaboration with Roche also covers the discovery and development of therapies that target various additional human and viral genes associated with HBV infection using both their technology platforms. Dicerna Pharmaceuticals will be eligible to get additional milestones and royalties on any potential products emerging from this part of the drug discovery collaboration.

The deal is subject to the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 among other customary conditions.

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