Roche to buy hepatitis C drug developer Anadys for $230 million

Swiss global health-care company Roche Holding yesterday agreed to buy Anadys Pharmaceuticals Inc for $230 million in cash in order to expand its portfolio of hepatitis C drugs.

San Diego-based Anadys has developed an oral drug Setrobuvir that is currently undergoing mid-stage trials for treatment of chronic hepatitis C infections or HCV.

Setrobuvir is currently being evaluated by Anadys in a phase II study in combination with Roche's pegylated interferon (Pegasys) and ribavirin (Copegus).

In clinical trials to date, Setrobuvir has shown potent antiviral activity with a good safety profile. Roche said that it plans to explore its use in combination with other direct acting antivirals already within its portfolio, with and without interferon.

Anadys is also developing ANA773, an oral, small-molecule inducer of innate immunity, currently in early-stage trials, which may be used for treating HCV as well as other chronic infections and cancer.

Under the deal, Basel-based Roche will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Anadys' common stock at $ 3.70 per share in cash, representing a 256 per cent premium to Anadys' closing price on 14 October 2011.