Roche Acquires Anadys to Boost Its Hepatitis Portfolio

October 17 00:00 2011

New York, October 17 ( – In a bid to broaden its main cancer medicine operations and boost its hepatitis portfolio, Roche Holding AG, a Swiss drug maker, is acquiring US-based Anadys Pharmaceuticals Inc., a San Diego-based drug maker, for $230 million in cash. Roche will pay $3.7 per Anadys share, which represents a premium of 256% over the closing stock price on Oct. 14 of $1.04. Analysts believe that this heavy premium is being paid by Roche in anticipation of Anadys’ promising hepatitis medicines.

Jean-Jacques Garaud, global head of Roche’s pharma and early development research said, “This acquisition augments our already strong [hepatitis] portfolio,” and added that “the aim of Roche is to offer physicians and hepatitis patients a powerful combination of therapies that bring us closer to a cure, even without the use of interferon.”

Roche’s takeover of Anadys was part of its efforts to expand its reach outside its oncology franchise that accounts for more than 50% of Roche’s annual sales of nearly $50 billion. Roche is planning to move into medications that are used in treating widespread diseases that affect the world’s growing elderly population, like heart ailments and diabetes.

Roche is already in the field of treating hepatitis C with Pegasys, which achieved a sale of $1.5 billion last year. Last year Roche acquired U.S.-based InterMune Inc. for $175 million in order to broaden this promising franchise.