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Roche (RHHBY) Enters $1.1B Drug Deal With US's Aileron Therapeutics


8/24/2010 7:04:30 AM

BASEL, Switzerland & CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aileron Therapeutics and Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced today that they have entered into a collaboration to discover, develop and commercialise a new class of drugs called Stapled Peptide Therapeutics. As part of this agreement, Roche will work with Aileron to develop drug candidates against up to five undisclosed targets selected from Roche’s key therapeutic areas, which include oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS.

Stapled Peptide Therapeutics are a result of Aileron’s breakthrough peptide stabilization technology, and are a potential solution to drug as-yet intractable disease targets, including those originating from long sought-after intracellular protein-protein interactions.

Under the terms of the agreement, Roche will provide Aileron guaranteed funding of at least $25 million in technology access fees and R&D support. Aileron is eligible to receive up to $1.1 billion in payments upon the achievement of discovery, development, regulatory and commercialisation milestones, if drug candidates are developed against all five targets. In addition, Aileron will receive royalties on future sales for any marketed products that result from the collaboration. Aileron will have substantial responsibility in collaboration with Roche to develop drug candidates against the selected targets up to clinical development.

“Roche is dedicated to advancing innovative therapies, and Stapled Peptides represent a potentially transformative new technology to create drugs for important disease targets that are intractable to currently available modalities,” said Jean-Jacques Garaud, Global Head of Roche Pharma Research and Early Development. “This collaboration with Aileron is a strategically important endeavour for advancing a novel approach to developing new medicines and will accelerate our progress toward our ultimate goal of bringing important new treatments to patients with unmet medical needs.”

“This alliance with Roche validates the broad potential for our Stapled Peptide platform across multiple therapeutic areas and classes of targets and also provides Aileron with capital to advance our platform and internal drug development pipeline,” said Joseph A. Yanchik, III, President and CEO of Aileron. “We took our time to carefully consider several opportunities for our first industry collaboration, and believe that Roche is an ideal partner for Aileron because of its history with peptide therapeutics and its commitment to tackling difficult disease targets.”

About Stapled Peptides

Aileron’s proprietary Stapled Peptide technology platform “locks” peptides into their biologically active shape, mimicking the structures found in nature. This process captures the best features of both small molecules and therapeutic proteins, ultimately endowing the peptide with unique and beneficial drug-like properties, including efficient cell penetration, improved pharmacokinetics, high-affinity binding to large target protein surfaces and excellent stability within the body. This unique combination of features could greatly expand the number of "druggable" therapeutic targets, by providing a unique opportunity to address the thousands of intracellular protein-protein interactions that remain a challenge for functional modulation by current therapeutics. In preclinical studies, Aileron’s Stapled Peptide Therapeutics have been shown to possess remarkable potency, in vivo stability and cell permeability.

About Aileron

Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Aileron Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company leading the development of a new class of drugs called Stapled Peptide Therapeutics. Stapled Peptides are a breakthrough solution to address thousands of therapeutically important yet currently undruggable targets. Stapled Peptides have demonstrated their unique ability to penetrate cells throughout the body and modulate protein-protein interactions, critical control points for most human diseases. Founded in 2005 and supported by funding from a leading syndicate of investors, Aileron is building a robust pipeline of therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, infectious disease, metabolic disease and immune/inflammatory diseases. For more information: www.aileronrx.com.

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2009, Roche had over 80,000 employees worldwide and invested almost 10 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 49.1 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information: www.roche.com.

Contact Aileron: Steven Kafka, Ph.D. Chief Financial Officer, VP Finance & Operations +1 (617) 995-2816

Media for Aileron: Kari Watson or Jennifer Conrad MacDougall Biomedical Communications +1 (781) 235-3060

Roche Partnering: Sharon Valdettaro Group Communications Phone +41 61 688 96 55 Mobile +41 79 559 00 84


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