A drug company founded by Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is reportedly in talks to sell an experimental drug worth more than $7 billion.
Roivant Sciences, founded by Ramaswamy in 2014, has worked to commercialize development drugs by acquiring them and establishing subsidiaries to develop them. according to the Wall Street Journal.
In February, the same day he publicly announced his candidacy for the White House, Ramaswamy announced that he was resigning from the Roivant board to focus on his 2024 presidential campaign.
Months earlier, in November, Roivant secured the rights to an investigational drug that can treat debilitating stomach conditions like Chron’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Switzerland-based Roche – the world’s fifth largest pharmaceutical company – is reportedly ready to spend billions to secure those rights, people familiar with the matter told The Journal.
Unless the deal is hijacked by another potential buyer, a Roivant-Roche deal could be sealed in the coming days, The Journal reported.
Roivant acquired its treatment for stomach diseases from a deal with Pfizer late last year.
According to The Journal, Roivant formed a new subsidiary called Telavant to fund development of the drug, dubbed RVT-3101.
RVT-3101 is in phase 3 – the final phase of testing – and has reported positive results so far.
In a released statement In January, Roivant reported that 32% of patients enrolled in the RVT-3101 study achieved clinical remission.
Across all doses and patient groups, RVT-3101 was well tolerated and demonstrated a favorable safety profile.
Pfizer still owns 25% of Televant and has commercial rights outside the US and Japan. It was unclear what would happen to Pfizer’s equity interest should the deal go through.
RVT-3101 contains an anti-TL1A antibody that was formerly used to treat intestinal inflammation and has since become a coveted asset in the race to cure intestinal disease.
Last month, Merck & Co. agreed to pay $10.8 billion to buy Prometheus Biosciences for a competing therapy that also treats ulcerative colitis, The Journal reported.
The deal came just months after Roivant secured the rights to the drug in November.
Merck has reportedly beaten rivals AbbVie and Bristol Myers Squibb by acquiring Prometheus.
In December, Amgen agreed to buy Horizon Therapeutics in another multibillion-dollar bet to cure autoimmune diseases.
According to The Journal, it was the largest healthcare merger of 2022, with Amgen spending $27.8 billion to acquire the Ireland-based biopharmaceutical company.
Should Roivant become the next pharmaceutical brand to strike a deal, it would be one of the biggest moves by Roche CEO Thomas Schinecker since he took charge of the Swiss life sciences giant in March, the outlet reported.
The Post has reached out to Roche for comment.