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Roche Buys French Firm Trophos to Expand Neuromuscular Portfolio


Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche has just agreed to purchase Trophos, a privately-held French biotechnology company situated in Marseille. The deal, which is reported to be worth 470 million euros ($545 million), will allow Roche to gain access to the French firm’s investigational medicine olesoxime – which is used to treat the debilitating genetic neuromuscular disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

Roche said that in a phase II study, the drug had a marked effect on individuals with SMA and helped to restore normal function and reduced related complications.

The Swiss pharmaceutical giant is hoping that with its backing olesoxime will become the first approved drug for treating SMA - a disease that between one in 6,000 to one in 10,000 children around the world are affected by.

"We will build on the work done by Trophos and the French Muscular Dystrophy Association to advance the development of olesoxime and to bring it to people who live with this devastating condition as quickly as possible”, said Roche’s Chief Medical Officer Sandra Horning in a statement.

The deal will be welcome news for Trophos investors and highlights how much potential Roche believes olesoxime to hold for the treatment of SMA.

You can read the full press release here, which contains more info about both companies, SMA and olesoxime.