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Dublin-based biotech outfit Inflazome has been acquired for €380 million by Swiss drug company Roche

The Irish company currently has two drugs in clinical trials.

Image: Shutterstock/anyaivanova

IRISH BIOTECH COMPANY Inflazome has been acquired by Swiss drug giant Roche for €380 million.

The Dublin-headquartered company, co-founded in 2016 by Trinity College immunology and biochemistry professor Luke O’Neill and Professor Matt Cooper from the University of Queensland, has developed drugs that treat inflammation in the body.

Inflazome shareholders will receive €380 million up-front from Roche, which takes complete control of the operation.

It is understood that they are also eligible to receive additional payments contingent on the achievement of certain milestones.

The acquisition gives Roche access to Inflazome’s entire portfolio, which includes drugs that are currently in trials as well as earlier-stage programmes.

Inflazome has two drugs in clinical trials currently: Inzomelid, for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and Somalix, for inflammatory diseases elsewhere in the body. 

Speaking on the Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk this morning, Professor O’Neill said, “Roche can now take our drug and bring it to the clinic, which is tremendously exciting.

“We’re talking about Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cardiovascular disease — all of these inflammatory diseases seem to involve one thing that goes wrong in your body and we have a drug that corrects that.

“So it’s a great day for the company.”

Inflazome has raised €55 million through various funding rounds since its incorporation.

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The company is backed by venture capital investors including Ireland’s Fountain Healthcare and Swiss multinational healthcare company Novartis among others.

Founded in 2016, the company’s intellectual property is based on the Science Foundation Ireland-funded research of Professor O’Neill at Trinity College Dublin in partnership with the University of Queensland.

Commenting on the deal, Dr Patrick Prendergast, provost of Trinity College, said it’s “wonderful news”.

“Investigator-led research drives the innovation economy, and this news offers tangible evidence of its importance and what can be achieved through partnership.

“We congratulate all the researchers involved for their tireless commitment to discovery and innovation and for making a real difference in society.” 

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