A startup company developing treatments for inflammatory diseases based on a research partnership between the University of Queensland (UQ) and Trinity College Dublin has been acquired in a landmark deal, one of the largest in Australian and Irish biotech history.
Inflazome has been acquired by Roche for an upfront cash payment of €380 million, plus additional payments based on the achievement of certain milestones.
The company was founded in 2016 following a research collaboration between UQ and Trinity, with UQ’s technology transfer company UniQuest leading the commercialisation of the resulting intellectual property.
Headquartered in Dublin, the company is developing drugs to address clinical unmet needs in inflammatory diseases by targeting inflammasomes, which are understood to drive many chronic inflammatory conditions. The acquisition gives Roche full rights to Inflazome’s portfolio of inflammasome inhibitors.
Two of the company’s drug candidates are in clinical trials for the treatment of debilitating conditions such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and motor neuron disease.
Inflazome is supported by a syndicate of investors, including Novartis Venture Fund and Fountain Healthcare Partners, Longitude Capital and Forbion.
Trinity College Dublin Provost Dr Patrick Prendergast said the announcement was good news for the many people across the world with diseases like Parkinson’s who stand to benefit from these discoveries.
“It is also a boost for the Irish scientific community and for Trinity College Dublin, where the ideas originated that led to the collaboration with UQ and the subsequent foundation of Inflazome."