The pharmaceuticals industry shake-up continues with Roche offering $1.7 billion to buy Seragon Pharmaceuticals. As Hayley Platt reports, the Swiss company is interested in the U.S. biotech firm's breast cancer research skills.
Another Europe/U.S pairing in the pharmaceutical industry. Swiss-based Roche is offering up to $1.7 billion for U.S. breast cancer specialist Seragon. The tie-up will help Roche add to its already bulging cabinet of cancer treatments. Notably a new generation of experimental breast cancer drugs. IHS's Margaret Labban. SOUNDBITE: Margaret Labban, Analyst, Advanced Markets, IHS Life Sciences, saying (English): "They're still in early stage development, it remains to be seen if they'll ever reach the market and that will likely be in a few years but they have a very novel mechanism of action that potentially could be game changing." The move comes just weeks after a slew of other attempted mergers and acquisitions in the same sector. First it was AstraZeneca, who spent weeks fighting off Pfizer. Then more recently U.S-based AbbVie, which is still after buying British firm Shire for $46 billion. And there are several reasons why. SOUNDBITE: Margaret Labban, Pharmaceutical analyst, IHS, saying (English): "A recovering economy and a way to deal with the fast-changing healthcare landscape and these are good things because in a way they mitigate risk especially if a company has found a strategic target to acquire, which is the case with Roche." Roche is already one of the leading makers of cancer drugs. Its blockbuster breast cancer drugs Herceptin and Nervastin generated almost £8 billion for the company last year. And it recently won approval for two further cancer treatments, Kadcyla and Perjeta. The acquisition of Seragon is expected to complete in the third quarter of this year.