News Feature | December 26, 2014

Roche Buys Biotech Firm Dutalys And Bina Technologies

By Estel Grace Masangkay

Roche announced that it has entered into agreement to acquire Vienna-based, private biotech firm Dutalys and its proprietary DutaMab technology for the discovery and development of fully human, bi-specific antibodies.

Under the terms of the agreement, Roche will pay an upfront fee of $133.75 million to Dutalys’ shareholders and will make additional milestone payments of up to $335 million once specific predetermined goals are met.

A traditional bi-specific monoclonal antibody is an artificial, biotechnologically engineered protein comprising fragments of two different monoclonal antibodies. Dutalys’ DutaMab platform produces bi-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAb) designed to show high affinity and simultaneous binding against targets in both arms. Roland Beckmann, co-founder and CSO of Dutalys, said, “DutaMabs are suitable for the treatment of numerous disease mechanisms and therapeutic targets, and we are very much looking forward to developing diverse novel therapeutics within the Roche R&D team.”

“The platform developed by Dutalys is a breakthrough technology, and we are excited about integrating it within Roche. It strengthens our R&D capabilities in delivering bi-specific antibodies, which have the potential to create transformational new medicines,” said John C. Reed, Head of Pharma Research and Early Development at Roche.

Roche also announced its acquisition of Bina Technologies, a California-based privately held company that provides big data platforms for centralized processing and management of next generation sequencing (NGS) data through its Genomic Management Solution, Bina-GMS1. Roche announced that it will integrate Bina into its Sequencing Unit in the first quarter of 2015. No financial terms of the agreement were disclosed by either company.

“Roche's acquisition of Bina is a great validation of our work and technology. It is also an indication of how informatics and data science are going to play a major role in the future of medicine,” said Narges Bani Asadi, CEO and Founder of Bina Technologies.

Dan Zabrowski, Head of Roche Sequencing unit, said, “The acquisition of Bina is a significant step for Roche to enable the promise of personalized healthcare by delivering the highest quality genomic data possible. Informatics and data management are critical to providing a seamless, end-to-end sequencing solution.”

Zabrowski added that Bina’s offerings can enhance both the efficiency and value of genomic analysis. Roche will use Bina’s products to develop new methodologies and algorithms that link NGS data to genetic markers relevant to target diseases.