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Roche’s Acquisition of PIramed Welcomed


Wednesday 4 June 2008


The Institute of Cancer Research welcomes the news that Roche is to acquire PIramed Limited.


Established in 2003, PIramed Limited was founded by Professor Paul Workman FMedSci at The Institute of Cancer Research, Professor Michael Waterfield FRS at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Professor Peter Parker FRS at Cancer Research UK and Srinivas Akkaraju MD PhD of JP Morgan Partners.


Building on a collaboration between The Institute of Cancer Research, Cancer Research UK, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and the Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Company (now Astellas Pharma Inc), PIramed is developing drugs that target PI3-kinase. This is an enzyme known to be important in disease progression in cancer and also in drug resistance. The Institute of Cancer Research was involved in a research collaboration with PIramed that resulted in the discovery of PI3-kinase inhibitors that were subsequently licensed to Genentech. A clinical candidate that arose from these series, GDC-0941, is being developed by Genentech and is now in Phase I clinical trials at the Royal Marsden Hospital and other investigational sites.


Professor Peter Rigby, Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research said: "With our increasing understanding of cancer genes, these drug development partnerships help us to bring benefits to patients as quickly as possible. Following on from the licensing of PI3-kinase inhibitors to Genentech, The Institute’s continuing contribution to PIramed's cancer programme has provided further validation of the quality of our science and of the success of our unique academic-industry hybrid model that has resulted in the discovery of many new cancer drugs."


The Institute of Cancer Research has discovered many anti-cancer drugs that have entered clinical trials, several of which are widely used today. For example, The Institute of Cancer Research was part of the group that developed carboplatin – used in the treatment of ovarian, lung, testicular, head and neck and bladder cancers.


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For further information or to arrange interviews please contact:

Mike Foster

The Institute of Cancer Research

Tel: 020 7153 5376 / 07721 747 900

Email: [email protected]


Notes to editors:

About The Institute of Cancer Research

  • The Institute of Cancer Research is Europe’s leading cancer research centre with expert scientists working on cutting edge research. It was founded in 1909 to carry out research into the causes of cancer and to develop new strategies for its prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care. Website at:
  • The Institute is a charity that relies on voluntary income. The Institute is one of the world’s most cost-effective major cancer research organisations with over 90p in every £ directly supporting research.
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