Roche is investing in an early-stage project that takes a novel approach to treating autoimmune diseases, agreeing to pay up to $580 million for California's Adheron Therapeutics.
The advance of Google and other tech firms into life sciences has given drug developers a new source of partners with complementary skills, but also raised an awkward question: Long term, are these companies allies or rivals? For Roche CEO Severin Schwan, the answer is still unclear.
Roche's much-hyped multiple sclerosis treatment ocrelizumab kept up its momentum with the release of detailed late-stage data, burnishing hopes the injected drug is a blockbuster in the making.
Critics have long questioned the effectiveness of Roche and GlaxoSmithKline's flu drugs, asking whether their benefits justify the estimated $2 billion spent to stockpile them for potential epidemics. Now, heading into flu season, scientists have an answer: No one knows.
Count Roche CEO Severin Schwan among those who see digital partnerships as the way Big Pharma can finally take advantage of Big Data. And to his mind, tech companies really need to take advantage of pharma's expertise if they want to get ahead in healthcare.
Venture-backed Ark Biosciences has successfully completed a Phase I clinical trial of work on anti-respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) candidate AK0529, hitting a key milestone for the respiratory viral infection and viral hepatitis focused company.
Roche has been facing pricing pushback for its breast cancer drug Kadcyla in the U.K., with the country's cost watchdog nixing the med last year and the Cancer Drugs Fund recently rejecting it from its covered list. Now, patients are voicing their discontent, calling on Britain's health minister to override the company's Kadcyla patents and open the door for lower-priced copies.
Roche's experimental therapy, ocrelizumab, recently posted positive Phase III data in patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis, a less common form of the disease--affecting about 10% to 20% of sufferers--that right now remains untreated.
Roche is aiming to break into the multiple sclerosis field with ocrelizumab, an investigational therapy that marks the Swiss pharma giant's first foray into the disease area. And despite the big guns competing in the space, Roche may be able to corner a piece of the market for itself.
Roche released two more batches of promising outcomes for cancer patients taking its keenly followed PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor atezolizumab, setting the stage for an accelerated approval campaign on both sides of the Atlantic as one expert in the field touts the pharma giant's chances of realigning the way lung cancer is treated.