Roche to buy Telavant in $7.1bn deal

Swiss drugmaker Roche said it will buy Telavant, a developer of a new treatment for inflammatory bowel diseases, for an initial $7.1 billion from US biotech firm Roivant Holdings and Pfizer Inc.

Under the deal Roche will gain the right to develop, manufacture and commercialise an experimental drug known as RVT-3101, in the US and Japan.

“RVT-3101 is a promising new therapy in development for people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease,” said Roche.

“Inflammatory bowel disease is a group of chronic gastrointestinal disorders with almost 8 million people diagnosed worldwide and 80% of all individuals not experiencing lasting remission.

“Given the antibody’s novel mode of action targeting both inflammation and fibrosis, it has potential to be applied in multiple other diseases.”

Roche CEO Thomas Schinecker said: “We strongly believe this novel TL1A directed antibody has the transformational potential to make a significant difference for patients living with inflammatory bowel disease and potentially other diseases.

“We are excited to add this promising new therapy in development to our portfolio and to make it available to patients as quickly as possible.”

Levi Garraway, Roche’s Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Product Development, said: “The recent Phase 2b for RVT-3101 delivered the first long-term, robust dataset demonstrating improved clinical remission in the maintenance treatment phase.

“Given this promising data, we believe that RVT-3101 has the potential to be the first therapy that offers both high efficacy and safety for people with inflammatory bowel disease and the convenience of an at-home, subcutaneous administration.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Roche will pay a purchase price of $7.1 billion upfront and a near-term milestone payment of $150 million.

Citi is acting as the exclusive financial advisor to Roche and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is acting as legal counsel to Roche. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is acting as legal counsel for Roivant.