Chiasma Partners With Roche in Deal Worth Up to $600 Million

The Israeli start-up and Swiss pharmaceutical giant will cooperate in the development of Chiasma's original drug and collaborate on future products.

The Israeli pharmaceutical start-up company Chiasma chalked up a significant achievement when it signed a commercialization agreement with Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche for up to $530 million.

According to the agreement, Chiasma and Roche will work together to develop Chiasma's original product, Octreolin, for the treatment of acromegaly, a hormonal disturbance found mainly in women and men over 40 which is characterized by excessive growth hormone production.

In the future, the two companies are also planning to cooperate on a product for cancerous tumors, such as brain tumors, affected by the hormone secretions.

As part of the agreement, Chiasma gave Roche an exclusive license for Octreolin and will commercialize and market it with Genentech, a Roche subsidiary, in the United States. Chiasma will continue to develop the product, which is presently in phase 3 of crucial clinical trials.

Chiasma has received an advance of $65 million and will receive up to $530 million if specific benchmarks and sales targets are met, as well as from royalties from the sale of Octreolin.

With unique Transient Permeability Enhancer technology, Chiasma is developing oral versions of medications that until now were administered only through injection, thereby alleviating patient suffering and improving quality of life. Chiasma's leading product is an oral version of the Novartis injection Sandostatin.

In July Chiasma finished raising $38.5 million from a series of venture capital funds which specialize in biotech, such as F3 Ventures, ARCH Ventures, Abingworth and MPM Capital, 7 Health Ventures and from Fred Price, CEO and chairman of Chiasma.