Seragon Pharmaceuticals Announces Acquisition Agreement With Genentech

Seragon Pharmaceuticals Announces Acquisition Agreement With Genentech

Acquisition Provides Opportunity to Accelerate Development of Selective
Estrogen Receptor Degrader (SERD) Platform for the Treatment of Hormone
Dependent Breast Cancer

SAN DIEGO, July 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Seragon Pharmaceuticals Inc., a
leader in developing drugs for hormone dependent cancers, today announced a
definitive agreement with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, (SIX:RO)
(SIX:ROG) (OTCQX:RHHBY) whereby Seragon will be acquired for $725 million in
cash up front along with $1.0 billion in contingent development milestone
payments that could bring the total transaction value to $1.725 billion. The
acquisition includes Seragon's entire SERD program, including its most
advanced compound, ARN-810, a next generation SERD that is currently being
evaluated in a Phase I trial in patients with estrogen receptor positive (ER+)
metastatic breast cancer.

Seragon, founded in August 2013, is an independent venture backed biotech
company based in San Diego that was spun out of Aragon Pharmaceuticals,
following its acquisition by Johnson & Johnson.Following the spin out,
Seragon retained many members of the management and R&D team, including
Richard A. Heyman, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Aragon and
Seragon Pharmaceuticals.The Seragon team focused its attention to develop
game changing therapies targeting ER+ breast cancer and other estrogen driven
cancers including endometrial and ovarian cancers.

"This acquisition represents an ideal transition between biotech and pharma
and may provide an optimal outcome for the SERD program and the breast cancer
patient community.The Seragon team has been committed to bringing new
therapies to cancer patients and we are excited to have Genentech carry
forward these programs. Genentech has repeatedly demonstrated its leadership
position the oncology field, and their development and commercial capabilities
in the breast cancer area are unparalleled," said Rich Heyman.

In the US alone, there are approximately 229,000 new breast cancer diagnoses
and 40,000 deaths/year related to breast cancer.The vast majority of these
cancers are dependent on estrogen signaling and women with ER+ breast cancer
are treated with 1^st generation anti-hormonal therapies such as tamoxifen or
the aromatase inhibitors. These therapies are initially effective, but many
patients experience disease progression due to acquired resistance.Seragon's
SERDs are next generation therapies that have a dual mechanism of action in
that they both bind to the estrogen receptor to antagonize hormone action, and
they promote receptor degradation.These SERDs are initially being developed
for the treatment of women with late-stage, progressive ER+ metastatic breast
cancer, but they also have potential in treating patients with early-stage
breast cancer.Furthermore they also may offer an opportunity to be the
cornerstone for future combination therapies.

"I would like to sincerely acknowledge Rich and the entire Seragon team for
their commitment and dedication in advancing the ground breaking science
behind both Seragon and Aragon. In just five years since the founding of
Aragon, in The Column Group's offices, this team has advanced multiple
compounds from an early idea to a clinical development program targeting
hormone dependent cancers.I would also like to thank Dr. Charles Sawyers for
his foundational work helping to elucidate the molecular determinants of
resistance for hormone dependent prostate cancer.This is an ideal path, which
will hopefully translate to improving the lives of patients," said Peter
Svennilson, Founder and Managing Partner of The Column Group and Chairman of
both Seragon and former Chairman of Aragon.

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.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati served as legal advisor to Seragon
Pharmaceuticals in this transaction.

About Seragon Pharmaceuticals

Seragon Pharmaceuticals is focused on the development of small-molecule drugs
for the treatment of estrogen receptor dependent breast cancer. Seragon
Pharmaceuticals' orally active selective estrogen receptor degraders (SERDs)
represent a potential new treatment for progressive metastatic breast cancer
that may circumvent the problem of resistance to anti-hormonal therapies. The
company's lead SERD compound, ARN-810, is currently being evaluated in a Phase
I clinical trial in breast cancer patients who have failed first generation
anti-hormonal therapies such as tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors. In
addition to endocrine-resistant breast cancer, SERD agents also have potential
to treat other estrogen dependent cancers such as endometrial and ovarian
cancers. Seragon is a privately held company founded in 2013 and headquartered
in San Diego, California.Seragon was financed by legacy Aragon investors
including, The Column Group, OrbiMed Advisors, Aisling Capital, TopSpin and
venBio.

CONTACT: For further information, please contact:
        
         Trisha Millican
         SVP of Finance & Chief Accounting Officer
         Seragon Pharmaceuticals
         (858) 369-7638

Seragon Pharmaceuticals Logo
 
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.