San Diego Business Journal

Roche to Acquire Anadys Pharmaceuticals for $230M

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Just days after releasing promising data from its midstage clinical trial for a drug that treats the hepatitis C virus, San Diego-based Anadys Pharmaceuticals Inc. said it would be acquired by Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG for $230 million — a 256 percent premium over Anadys’ Oct. 14 closing price of $1.04.

“With Roche’s considerable capabilities and experience in HCV (hepatitis C virus), we believe this acquisition provides the best chance of success for the new potential treatments to reach patients,” Anadys President and CEO Steve Worland said in the Oct. 17 acquisition announcement.

Anadys’ drug, Setrobuvir, is a direct-acting anti-viral that would be taken in combination with other anti-virals as part of a drug “cocktail,” Worland said. If clinical trials keep moving ahead as the company expects, Setrobuvir could gain the Food and Drug Administration’s approval and be available to patients by 2015, Worland said.

“Our aim is to offer physicians and hepatitis patients a powerful combination of therapies that bring us closer to a cure, even without the use of interferon,” said Jean-Jacques Garaud, global head of Roche Pharma Research and Early Development. “Anadys’ compounds provide additional modes of action that could lead to interferon-free treatment regimens without viral resistance.”

— Kelly Quigley