Irish biotechnology firm Inflazome announced today that it has closed a share purchase agreement with Swiss pharma giant Roche in which the biotech’s shareholders received an upfront payment of €380 million. The shareholders are also eligible to receive additional contingent payments based on the achievement of particular predetermined milestones.
Roche gains full rights to Inflazome’s entire portfolio of small molecule inhibitors
Founded in 2016 by leading medical researchers Prof Matt Cooper (University of Queensland, Australia) and Prof Luke O’Neill (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland), Inflazome is a leading biotech firm in the development of inflammasome inhibitors.
Through this agreement, Roche will gain full rights to Inflazome’s entire portfolio which is composed of clinical and preclinical orally available small molecule NLRP3 inhibitors. Roche plans to further develop NLRP3 inhibitors across a wide variety of indications with high unmet medical needs.
About the NLRP3 Inflammasome
Activated NLRP3 acts as a ‘danger sensor’ in the body to release the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-18 and induce uncontrolled, lytic cell death (pyroptosis). These processes lead to chronic inflammation, and as such, NLRP3 has been implicated in a large number of diseases.
Matt Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, Inflazome, commented:
“We are delighted to close this deal with Roche, an outstanding pharmaceutical company with a broad commitment to multiple indications. With Inflazome now part of the Roche organization, Inflazome’s pioneering molecules are well positioned to be developed quickly and effectively so they can help patients suffering from debilitating diseases.”
Manus Rogan, Chairman and co-founding investor of Inflazome, said:
“It has been a privilege to work alongside Matt, his team and my co-investors. The Company, which was established just four years ago, developed a portfolio of clinical and pre-clinical molecules with a lean, highly experienced team and limited invested capital.”
Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, Inflazome is a biotechnology company leading the development of orally available drugs to address clinical unmet needs in inflammatory diseases by targeting inflammasomes. Inflammasomes are understood to drive many chronic inflammatory conditions, from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s to asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and NASH.
Inflazome has a portfolio of orally available small molecule NLRP3 inhibitors, with lead molecules having successfully completed Phase I clinical trials, as well as several high potential earlier-stage programmes. In July, the biotech firm was granted orphan drug designation making it easier for drugs to gain market approval and also extends their patent life. Orphan drug designation is granted only to medicines treating such a small percentage of patients that they will never make a profit without government support.
Inflazome has won €55m in financing from leading Venture Capital firms such as Forbion, Longitude Capital, Fountain Healthcare Partners and Novartis Venture Fund.