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12:00 AM
 | 
Mar 07, 2011
 |  BioCentury  |  Strategy

Metabolic wellspring

Roche buys Marcadia to gain biotech's rights in diabetes, obesity from Indiana U

In its 2010 annual report, Roche for the first time revealed the $289.6 million price tag it paid to acquire diabetes company Marcadia Biotech Inc. in December. The pharma originally wanted to license Marcadia's first-in-class dual GLP-1/GIP receptor agonist, but ended up buying the company to gain access to a research collaboration with Indiana University, where all the biotech's synthetic peptides were discovered.

Dan Zabrowski, Roche's global head of pharma partnering, told BioCentury he originally thought Marcadia's lead program, MAR701, would slot in nicely behind Roche's late-stage cardiometabolic programs. These include two Phase III candidates: aleglitazar (RG1439), a PPAR agonist for Type II diabetes; and dalcetrapib (RG1658), a cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitor to treat atherosclerosis.

MAR701, a synthetic peptide dual agonist of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor, is in Phase I testing for Type II...

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