Research funded by Shake It Up Australia Foundation and the Michael J. Fox Foundation demonstrated a key target in microglia, called the NLRP3 inflammasome, is highly activated in Parkinson’s. The same signals produced by inflammasome activation in human brains were seen in different pre-clinical models of Parkinson’s disease. After promising results from the study Inflazome received $63M in venture capital funding to further develop their molecules and has now been acquired by Roche.
These molecules include Inzomelid and Somalix and are designed to inhibit activation of NLRP3 and reduce the damage caused by chronic, uncontrolled inflammation.
Inzomelid is a brain-penetrant drug intended for the treatment of neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Motor Neuron Disease as well as the orphan disease CAPS.
Somalix is intended for the treatment of debilitating conditions such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis and many other diseases.
Roche will gain complete rights to Inflazome’s portfolio of clinical and preclinical NLRP3 inhibitors. The company is planning to develop the NLRP3 inhibitors in a range of indications.
Inflazome CEO Matt Cooper said: “We are delighted to close this deal with Roche, an outstanding pharmaceutical company with a broad commitment to multiple indications.
“With Inflazome now part of the Roche organisation, Inflazome’s pioneering molecules are well-positioned to be developed quickly and effectively so they can help patients suffering from debilitating diseases.”
Inflazome is a pioneering inflammasome company developing orally available NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors to address clinical unmet needs across a wide variety of inflammatory diseases
Acquisition of Inflazome gives Roche full rights to the Inflazome portfolio
Activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in the body is implicated in many diseases caused by chronic, uncontrolled inflammation
Inflazome shareholders received €380 million upfront, and are eligible to receive additional milestone payments
Dublin (IE), Cambridge (UK), 21 September 2020: Inflazome announced today that it has closed a share purchase agreement with Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) in which Inflazome’s shareholders received an upfront payment of €380 million, and are eligible to receive additional contingent payments to be made based on the achievement of certain predetermined milestones.
Inflazome was founded in 2016 by leading medical researchers Prof Matt Cooper (University of Queensland, Australia) and Prof Luke O’Neill (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland). The company is a leader in the development of inflammasome inhibitors.
The acquisition gives Roche full rights to Inflazome’s entire portfolio which is composed of clinical and preclinical orally available small molecule NLRP3 inhibitors. Roche intends to further develop NLRP3 inhibitors across a wide variety of indications with high unmet medical need.
Matt Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, Inflazome, commented: “We are delighted to close this deal with Roche, an outstanding pharmaceutical company with a broad commitment to multiple indications. With Inflazome now part of the Roche organization, Inflazome’s pioneering molecules are well positioned to be developed quickly and effectively so they can help patients suffering from debilitating diseases.”
Manus Rogan, Chairman and co-founding investor of Inflazome, said: “It has been a privilege to work alongside Matt, his team and my co-investors. The Company, which was established just four years ago, developed a portfolio of clinical and pre-clinical molecules with a lean, highly experienced team and limited invested capital.”
Lazard acted as financial advisor and Goodwin Procter and Byrne Wallace acted as legal counsel to Inflazome.
Inflazome is a biotech company leading the development of orally available drugs to address clinical unmet needs in inflammatory diseases by targeting inflammasomes. Inflammasomes are understood to drive many chronic inflammatory conditions, from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s to asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and NASH. Inflazome has a portfolio of orally available small molecule NLRP3 inhibitors, with lead molecules having successfully completed Phase I clinical trials, as well as several high potential earlier-stage programmes.
Inflazome has raised €55m in Venture Capital financing from leading investors Forbion, Longitude Capital, Fountain Healthcare Partners and Novartis Venture Fund.
Inflazome is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.
About the NLRP3 Inflammasome
Activated NLRP3 acts as a ‘danger sensor’ in the body to release the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-18 and induce uncontrolled, lytic cell death (pyroptosis). These processes lead to chronic inflammation, and as such, NLRP3 has been implicated in a large number of diseases.
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