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Lead Pharma and Roche enter €260m collaboration agreement

Dutch company Lead Pharma has entered a collaboration and licence agreement with Swiss pharma giant Roche to develop oral small molecules for a ‘broad range’ of immune mediated diseases.

Lead Pharma and Roche are set to collaborate on research activities up to the selection of a pre-clinical candidate, after which Roche is set to assume responsibility for further development and global commercialisation.

“We are committed to advancing innovative science and transformative medicines for people affected by different immune mediated diseases,” said James Sabry, global head, Roche Pharma Partnering.

“We are looking forward to further building on our expertise in this field and collaborating with Lead Pharma, aiming to make a difference for those patients,” he added.

As part of the agreement, Lead Pharma will receive an upfront payment of €10m and will be eligible to receive research funding and pre-clinical payments. In total, potential payments – including research, development, regulatory and sales milestones – could reach €260m plus royalties on worldwide sales.

“This is the second project we partner with one of the largest pharmaceutical companies under our Discover, Design and Deliver platform,” said Arthur Oubrie, chief scientific officer of Lead Pharma.

“Our rigorous target selection process, translational screening cascade, and smart medicinal chemistry have been essential to bring this project to this stage. We are keen to collaborate with our colleagues at Roche to bring this novel approach to patients,” he added.