Genentech Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire Seragon Pharmaceuticals

  Genentech Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire Seragon Pharmaceuticals

-- Acquisition of Phase I program offers a potential new approach for hormone
                      receptor-positive breast cancer --

Business Wire

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- July 2, 2014

Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY), today
announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Seragon
Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Seragon), a privately held biotechnology company based
in San Diego, California. With this acquisition, Genentech obtains rights to
Seragon’s entire portfolio of investigational next-generation oral selective
estrogen receptor degraders (SERDs) for the potential treatment of hormone
receptor-positive breast cancer.

“This year, breast cancer will claim the lives of nearly 40,000 women in the
United States, and up to half of these women will have a disease that is
driven by the estrogen receptor,” said Richard Scheller, Ph.D., executive vice
president and head of Genentech Research and Early Development. “We believe
these investigational oral SERDs could one day redefine the standard of care
for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Genentech will make an upfront cash payment
of $725 million, plus additional contingent payments of up to $1 billion based
on achievement of certain predetermined milestones. The closing of the
transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including clearance
under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. The transaction is
expected to close in the third quarter of 2014. Once the transaction is
completed, Seragon’s portfolio will be integrated into Genentech Research and
Early Development.

About Hormone Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer and SERDs

Up to sixty percent of breast cancers depend on the hormone estrogen and the
estrogen receptor to grow and spread. This type of breast cancer is called
hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. It is typically treated with
medicines, such as tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors, that are designed to
block the action at the estrogen receptor or interfere with the body’s
production of estrogen. Many women who receive these current hormonal agents
will eventually see their disease return or worsen.

Scientists at Seragon have developed next-generation selective estrogen
receptor degraders (SERDs). This class of medicines is designed to both block
estradiol action at the estrogen receptor and also eliminate the estrogen
receptor from the cell altogether. It is believed that SERDs change the shape
of the estrogen receptor in a manner that targets it for elimination by the
cell. These next-generation dual-acting SERDs may offer an improved approach
to treating hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, and potentially other
cancers driven by the estrogen receptor.

Seragon’s lead product candidate, ARN-810, is a next-generation SERD that is
currently in Phase I clinical trials for patients who have hormone
receptor-positive breast cancer and have failed current hormonal agents. These
next-generation SERDs complement Genentech’s existing research and development
programs in breast cancer.

About Seragon Pharmaceuticals

Seragon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a privately held company located in San
Diego, California. Founded in 2013, Seragon is focused on the development of
selective estrogen receptor degraders (SERDs) for hormone receptor-driven
cancers. SERDs are designed to bind the estrogen receptor and function as
antagonists, and to induce conformational changes that may result in
degradation of the receptor itself.

About Genentech

Founded more than 35 years ago, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company
that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat
patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions. The company, a
member of the Roche Group, has headquarters in South San Francisco,
California. For additional information about the company, please visit


Nadine Pinell, 650-225-8679
Sonali Chopra, 650-467-0842
Thomas Kudsk Larsen, 650-467-2016
Karl Mahler, 011 41 61 687 8503
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