LICR’s First Spin-off Company Acquired by Roche
LICR’s first spin-off company, PIramed Limited, was acquired in April by the pharmaceutical company Roche.
Since its foundation in 2003, PIramed has developed small molecule inhibitors targeting PI-3 kinases (PI3Ks), a family of enzymes involved in a signaling pathway that is disrupted in most types of cancer. One of the company’s products, which targets PI3-K-alpha, is currently undergoing clinical development for cancer in collaboration with Genentech. An inhibitor of PI3-K-delta, primarily developed for inflammatory diseases, is in pre-clinical stage and will be integrated into the Roche Group’s inflammatory R&D portfolio. Both inhibitors—and most of the PI-3 kinases—were originally characterized by a team of LICR investigators led by Dr. Michael D. Waterfield, F.R.S. (Founding Director, LICR London Branch).
PIramed was formed by the LICR in conjunction with Cancer Research UK and the Institute of Cancer Research, both in London, UK. Under the terms of the agreement, Roche will acquire 100% of PIramed’s shares for USD 160 million, plus a milestone payment of USD 15 million, which is due upon the commencement of phase II clinical trials for the company’s oncology program.