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Synta and Roche in potential $1 billion anti-inflammatory deal

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

Synta Pharmaceuticals could receive up to $1.025 billion from Roche through an anti-inflammatory disease deal. The two firms will discover, develop and commercialise compounds targeting calcium release-activated calcium modulator channels, initially for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Synta will receive $25 million up front, of which $9 million will be for an initial two-year research period. It is also eligible for a potential additional $1 billion in commercialisation and development milestones for three products, and will receive tiered royalties on product sales. Roche gains worldwide development and commercialisation rights to certain products identified before the end of the research period while Synta retains the rights to co-develop and co-promote the products in indications other than rheumatoid arthritis in the US. Roche launched Actemra (tocilizumab) in Japan last year and hopes to introduce it in the US soon, following an FDA request last September for more information on the drug (Scrip Online, September 9th, 2008). Synta is developing its lead product Elesclomol, an oxidative stress inducer that triggers apoptosis in cancer cells, with GlaxoSmithKline in an agreement worth up to $1 billion.

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