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Roche starts acquisition process of ARIUS to gain access to new screening platform for antibody therapeutics
Date:7/22/2008

BASEL, Switzerland and TORONTO, July 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Roche (SWX: ROG) and ARIUS Research Inc. (TSX:ARI) today announced that the two companies have signed a definitive agreement for Roche to acquire ARIUS in an all-cash transaction at a price of approximately C$191 million. ARIUS is the developer of a proprietary antibody platform called FunctionFIRST(TM), which rapidly identifies and selects antibodies based on their functional ability to affect disease before progressing into clinical development. The FunctionFIRST(TM) platform will allow Roche to further strengthen its developmental portfolio, initially within the areas of oncology and inflammatory diseases where this new technique offers potentially broad therapeutic applications.

"ARIUS' promising platform and early pipeline of new antibody candidates represent an excellent fit with our own progressing research in the fields of cancer and immunology," said Lee Babiss, Head of Global Research at Roche. "The FunctionFIRST(TM) approach provides us with a large library of antibodies from which we can identify the best new drug candidates for the development of clinically differentiated medicines."

Commenting on the transaction, David S. Young, President and Chief Executive Officer of ARIUS said: "Since founding ARIUS in 1999, we have focused on developing a truly powerful platform for the development of new antibodies for innovative cancer and immunological targets so that we can contribute to revolutionising the prognosis for such diseases. Roche's capabilities in biopharmaceutical research, development, manufacturing and commercialisation offer us the ideal opportunity to realise the full potential of our approach and pipeline of candidate drugs."

Additional information

Deal Structure

Roche will pay C$2.44 for each common share of ARIUS Research Inc. This price represents a 15% premium to the closing price on 22 July 2008 and a 44% premium to the 20-day volume
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SOURCE ARIUS Research Inc.
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