* Octreolin currently in a late stage trial
* Roche to get worldwide exclusive license
* Chiasma to receive payments of up to $595 mln
ZURICH, Feb 18 Swiss drugmaker Roche
said on Monday it would work with privately held U.S. company
Chiasma to develop and market a treatment for growth hormone
disorders in a deal worth almost $600 million in upfront and
The companies will work on the development Octreolin, an
oral form of a treatment now only sold in injections. Octreolin
is currently in a late stage trial for the treatment of
acromegaly, a condition caused by excessive growth hormone.
"If approved, Octreolin would be an important alternative
for patients with acromegaly, a disorder that develops when a
person's pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone,"
Roche Chief Medical Officer Hal Barron said in a statement.
The agreement could help Roche reinforce its drugs pipeline
while keeping a lid on costs. The company said at its investor
day last September it would keep a lid on research spending,
which totalled 8.3 billion Swiss francs ($8.99 billion)in 2011,
around one fifth of total sales.
The companies will subsequently seek approval for the drug
to be used to treat neuroendocrine tumours, growths which arise
from cells in the hormonal and nervous systems which can be
Roche will make an upfront payment of $65 million to
Chiasma, further milestone payments of up to $530 million and
double digit royalties on net sales of Octreolin.