Roche and Dicerna Enter Collaboration Worth up to $1.67 Billion

November 1, 2019

The partnership will center on the development and commercialization of DCR-HBVS, Dicerna’s investigational therapy in Phase I clinical development, using its proprietary RNAi platform technology.

Roche announced on Oct. 31, 2019 it is entering into a research collaboration and licensing agreement with Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, a Watertown, MA-based biopharmaceutical company, worth up to $1.67 billion to develop therapies for chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.

The partnership will center on the development and commercialization of DCR-HBVS, Dicerna’s investigational therapy in Phase I clinical development using its proprietary GalXC RNA interence (RNAi) platform technology. The companies will also work on developing additional therapies for multiple human and viral genes in chronic HBV infection.

“Dicerna is excited to collaborate with Roche to realize the full potential of DCR-HBVS and leverage our GalXC platform to target and silence specific genes that contribute to chronic hepatitis B virus infection,” said Douglas M. Fambrough, PhD, president and CEO of Dicerna, in a company press release. “With its deep expertise in HBV and established global infrastructure, Roche is ideally suited to help us accelerate the development and commercialization of DCR-HBVS, pursue a cure for chronic HBV infection, and address this serious global threat to public health.”

Through the agreement, Dicerna will receive $200 million upfront and will be eligible to receive an additional $1.47 billion if it meets specified development, regulatory, and commercial milestones, according to the press release. Dicerna will also receive royalties if Dicerna retains an option to co-fund pivotal development of DCR-HBVS worldwide, which will entitle Dicerna to receive enhanced royalties and co-promote products including DCR-HBVS in the United States.

"We are excited to engage in a clinical partnership and research collaboration with Dicerna,” said John Young, global head of Infectious Diseases at Roche Pharma Early Research & Development, in the press release. “This partnership builds upon our existing portfolio and internal expertise and positions us well to develop a best-in-disease therapy to cure chronic HBV infection."

Source: Dicerna