Mergers and Acquisitions

Date: 2014-08-04

Type of information: Company acquisition

Acquired company: Santaris Pharma (Denmark)

Acquiring company: Roche (Switzerland)

Amount: up to $450 million (€ 336 million)


* On August 4, 2014, Roche announced that it has agreed to acquire Santaris Pharma, a privately held biopharmaceutical company based near Copenhagen, Denmark. Santaris Pharma has pioneered its proprietary Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA) platform that has contributed to an emerging era of RNA-targeting therapeutics. This new class of medicines has the potential to address difficult to treat diseases in a range of therapeutic areas. The acquisition, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in August 2014. Roche plans to maintain Santaris Pharma’s operations in Denmark, where the existing site will be renamed Roche Innovation Center Copenhagen. Under the terms of the agreement, Roche will make an upfront cash payment of $ 250 million to Santaris Pharma shareholders and make additional contingent payments of up to $ 200 million based on the achievement of certain predetermined milestones.


Santaris Pharma has been founded in 2003, in Denmark.The company has developed a proprietary Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA) platform and tissue-targeting expertise to pioneer antisense product candidates. Santaris Pharma is developing a diverse pipeline of LNA therapeutics against both mRNA and microRNA, thus enabling scientists to develop drug candidates for diseases that are difficult, or impossible, to target with contemporary drug platforms such as antibodies and small molecules. The LNA platform is designed to overcome the limitations of earlier antisense and siRNA technologies, in particular through a unique combination of small size, high binding affinity and metabolic stability that allows this new class of drugs candidates to potently and specifically influence RNA targets in many different tissues without the need for complex delivery vehicles. 

Santaris Pharma has established several strategic alliances with pharmaceutical groups to discover and develop novel medicines based on its LNA platform (BMS, GSK, Pfizer, Shire). Last January, Santaris has signed a strategic alliance with Roche to discover and develop LNA drugs against a multitude of targets across several disease areas. 


Antisense therapeutics

Is general: Yes