Roche, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant, has recently announced a definitive merger agreement to acquire Carmot Therapeutics, a privately owned US company based in Berkeley, California. The acquisition grants Roche access to Carmot's R&D portfolio, including three clinical-stage assets with significant potential in treating obesity and diabetes.
Carmot's lead asset, CT-388,
is a Phase-2-ready, dual GLP-1/GIP receptor agonist designed for the treatment
of obesity in patients with and without type 2 diabetes. Another asset, CT-996,
is a once-daily oral, small-molecule GLP-1 receptor agonist currently in Phase-1,
intended for obesity treatment. Also, CT-868 is a Phase-2 injection for
patients with type 1 diabetes who are overweight orobese.
The existing clinical data
for Carmot's assets, especially CT-388, suggests a best-in-class potential for
achieving and maintaining weight loss
with differentiated efficacy. This acquisition provides Roche with opportunities for combinations with
its existing pipeline assets, focusing on preserving muscle mass. Incretins,
gut hormones that play a role in modulating blood glucose, offer a potential expansion to other indications, including
cardiovascular, retinal, and neurodegenerative diseases.
The CEO of Roche Group, Thomas Schinecker, while emphasising on the significance of this acquisition, said, "Obesity is a heterogeneous disease, which contributes to many other diseases that together comprise a significant health burden worldwide. By combining Carmot’ portfolio with programs in our Pharmaceuticals pipeline and our Diagnostics expertise and portfolio of products across cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, we are aiming to improve the standard of care and positively impact patients’ lives.”
Upon completion of the
transaction, Roche will have exclusive access to Carmot's Chemotype Evolution
discovery platform, further strengthening Roche's R&D efforts in
cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. The acquisition is expected to close in
the first quarter of 2024, subject to customary closing conditions.
Carmot Therapeutics, a
clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on metabolic diseases, boasts a
broad pipeline of therapeutics, including CT-388, CT-996, and CT-868. The
rising prevalence of obesity worldwide, associated with various health
challenges, underscores the importance of scientific advances in developing
Incretins, such as those in
Carmot's portfolio, represent clinically validated targets in obesity therapy
and hold promise for broader applications in other disease areas.