Swiss drug company Roche has entered into a definite merger agreement to acquire Anadys Pharmaceuticals for $230 million.

The company said on Monday that it will buy Anadys, a developer of oral and small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of hepatitis C (HCV), for $3.70 a share in an all-cash transaction.

Setrobuvir (ANA598), Anadys’ most advanced drug candidate, is currently being evaluated by Anadys in a Phase II study in combination with Roche’s pegylated interferon (Pegasys) and ribavirin (Copegus).

Jean-Jacques Garaud, Global Head of Roche Pharma Research and Early Development, said: "This acquisition augments our already strong HCV portfolio. Our aim is to offer physicians and hepatitis patients a powerful combination of therapies that bring us closer to a cure, even without the use of interferon."

Anadys is also developing ANA773, an oral, small-molecule inducer of innate immunity in Phase I trials that may prove useful for treating HCV and cancer.

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By GlobalData