The collaboration with Yamanouchi terminated in 2001, and in order to further the research on their novel PI3K therapeutics the ICR, the Ludwig and ICRF (now part of Cancer Research UK) formed the spinout company Piramed Pharma in 2003. Professor Workman, together with Professors Mike Waterfield (Ludwig) and Peter Parker (ICRF) were Founder scientists of the company.
Subsequently a programme of collaborative research with the ICR led to the discovery of a number of inhibitors including PI-728 (GDC-0941) which was the first class I-selective PI3K inhibitor to enter phase I clinical trials. Piramed licensed its lead PI3K programme to Genentech in 2005, since which time phase II trials of GDC-0941 have been undertaken in 27 different countries.
Piramed Pharma was subsequently acquired by Roche in 2008 for a total of $175 million.