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Roche acquires RNAi company Mirus
August 2008
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BASEL, SwitzerlandóRoche and Madison, Wis.-based Mirus Biosciences Corp. announced the companies entered into a definitive agreement under which Roche will acquire Mirus, a company that focuses on the discovery and development of innovative nucleic acid based technologies, including a proprietary RNAi delivery platform.

"The pioneering work in RNAi delivery by the scientists at Mirus, together with our Centre of Excellence for RNAi research in Kulmbach, puts Roche at the forefront of bringing this whole new class of treatment to patients who suffer from difficult to treat diseases," says Lee E. Babiss, global head of Roche Pharma Research. "Our global research team has made great strides in advancing RNAi therapeutics, and with our new colleagues in Madison we will now bolster those efforts. The technology brought by Mirus, together with additional technologies, will bring us closer to creating fully enabled RNAi therapeutics."

Under the terms of the agreement, Roche will acquire Mirus for $125 million and will maintain an RNAi research site in Madison. Mirus' transfection reagents business will be divested into a standalone business to be known as Mirus Bio LLC, without any anticipated effect on existing customers. Closing of the transaction is subject to standard conditions and is expected during the second half of 2008.

"The expertise, resources and commitment that Roche brings to the RNAi field make Roche an ideal partner for Mirus," says Russell R. Smestad, president of Mirus. "Together we will be able to greatly accelerate the progress we would have accomplished independently." DDN

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