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Tensha Therapeutics to be Acquired by Roche

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Founded by James E. Bradner, MD, formerly of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and managed and funded by HealthCare Ventures, Tensha has developed a pioneering epigenetic technology that disrupts bromodomain and extra terminal domain (BET) proteins in order to develop potential treatments for cancer. The lead product, TEN-010, is a small molecule BET inhibitor that is currently in two Phase 1b clinical trials for the treatment of patients with cancer.

 Under the terms of the agreement, Tensha’s shareholders will receive an upfront cash payment of $115 million, plus additional contingent payments of up to $420 million based on the achievement of certain predetermined clinical and regulatory milestones. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and anticipated to close in the first quarter of 2016. 

“BET proteins are a highly promising class of therapeutic targets in cancer,” said James Bradner, MD, Founder of Tensha and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. “BET inhibitors function as targeted therapy in rare cancers with BET gene rearrangements (NUT midline carcinoma), and in common cancers as a means of inhibiting the function of the master growth control genes, such as MYC.” 

“We selected TEN-010 as a highly selective, potent BET inhibitor, and we moved rapidly and strategically to advance its development,” said Steven Landau, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Tensha and Director of Clinical and Scientific Analysis for HealthCare Ventures. “Our initial clinical data demonstrating the potential of TEN-010 in patients with NUT midline carcinoma was presented at the AACR/NCI/EORTC conference in November.” 

“We are very excited about this acquisition, as it moves TEN-010 into the pipeline of a world leader in the development of novel cancer therapeutics. With leadership in solid and hematological tumors and deep understanding of BET biology, Roche is the ideal company to explore the broad clinical potential of TEN-010,” said Douglas E. Onsi, Chief Executive Officer of Tensha and Managing Director of HealthCare Ventures. “We appreciate the work of the Bradner lab, the Tensha and HealthCare Ventures employees, and the clinical teams at our trial sites for their important roles in bringing TEN-010 to studies in patients.”