Genentech plunked down $725 M upfront (an unusually large amount for them) to buy Seragon and its lead drug for breast cancer. They are touting the new technology as potentially "redefining the standard of care for hormone positive breast cancer".
The new approach is called SERD -- selective estrogen receptor degraders. Current therapies try to block the estrogen receptor in receptor positive breast cancer patients but eventually the patient becomes resistant, and in some cases the treatment may then speed the disease. SERDs work by actually degrading the receptors and thereby block their signalling abilities. The Seragon lead SERD is called ARN-810. The fact that Genentech is willing to pay so much upfront tends to confer it legitimacy, especially in the very hot oncology arena. See Xconomy, Fierce Biotech, and Bloomberg.
Posted by Bruce Lehr July 2nd 2013.