Roche Bolsters Obesity, Diabetes R&D Portfolio With Acquisition of Carmot Therapeutics

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Roche announces definitive merger agreement to acquire Carmot Therapeutics, Inc., which has an R&D portfolio that includes clinical stage subcutaneous and oral incretins for the treatment of patients with obesity, both with and without diabetes.

Roche has announced a definitive merger agreement that is expected to significantly strengthen the company’s obesity and diabetes portfolio. The company reached an agreement to acquire Carmot Therapeutics, Inc., which has an R&D portfolio that includes clinical stage subcutaneous and oral incretins for the treatment of patients with obesity, both with and without diabetes.

Image credit: diy13 | stock.adobe.com

Image credit: diy13 | stock.adobe.com

“Obesity is a heterogeneous disease, which contributes to many other diseases that together comprise a significant health burden worldwide,” said Thomas Schinecker, CEO Roche Group, in a press release. “By combining Carmot’s portfolio with programs in our pharmaceuticals pipeline and our diagnostics expertise and portfolio of products across cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, we are aiming to improve the standard of care and positively impact patients’ lives.”

Incretins, which are hormones secreted by the gut following food intake, are involved in modulating blood glucose by stimulating insulin secretion and limiting appetite. Roche stated that Carmot’s portfolio of incretin-based therapies show the potential for expansion to other indications in which incretins are involved, such as cardiovascular, retinal, and neurodegenerative conditions.

Carmot’s differentiated portfolio of incretins include CT-388, a once-weekly, subcutaneous injectable dual GLP-1/GIP receptor agonist that is Phase-2 ready, for the treatment of obesity in patients both with and without type 2 diabetes. Roche said the medication shows potential as a standalone or as part of a combination regimen to improve weight loss, with potential expansion to other indications. Clinical data indicate CT-388 has best-in-class potential to achieve and maintain weight loss with differentiated efficacy, according to Roche.

Carmot’s portfolio also includes CT-996, a Phase 1, once-daily, oral, small molecule GLP-1 receptor agonist for obesity in patients with and without type 2 diabetes; and CT-868, a Phase-2, once-daily, subcutaneous injectable dual GLP-1/GIP receptor agonist for patients with type 1 diabetes with overweight or obesity.

Further, the acquisition could lead to potential combinations of Carmot’s novel medications along with Roche’s current pipeline therapies, including treatments that maintain muscle mass.

“We are encouraged by the clinical data for the lead asset CT-388, which demonstrated substantial weight loss in Phase 1b. These data suggest the potential for a differentiated profile to treat obesity and its associated diseases,” Roche Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Product Development, Levi Garraway, said in a press release. “The broad Carmot portfolio offers different routes of administration and opportunities to develop combination therapies that treat obesity and potentially other indications.”

As part of the acquisition, Roche will pay Carmot equity holders a purchase price of $2.7 billion in cash when the transaction closes. Carmot equity holders are also entitled to payments of up to $400 million pending the achievement of certain milestones. The deal provides Roche with access to the company’s current R&D portfolio, with Carmot’s ~70 employees joining Roche’s Pharmaceuticals Division.

Roche also gains exclusive access to Carmot’s Chemotype Evolution discovery platform in metabolism, which the company said will strengthen its R&D portfolio in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

Roche said it expects the closing of the transaction to occur during the first quarter of 2024 subject to the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 and other customary closing conditions.

Reference

Roche enters into a definitive merger agreement to acquire Carmot Therapeutics, including three clinical stage assets with best-in-class potential in obesity and diabetes. Roche. News release. December 4, 2023. Accessed December 4, 2023. https://www.roche.com/media/releases/med-cor-2023-12-04

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