Swiss pharma company Roche is set to acquire Irish biotech firm Inflazome for an upfront payment of $449m (€380m).

In addition to the upfront payment, Inflazome is also eligible to receive additional contingent payments, based on the achievement of predetermined milestones.

The start-up biotech was founded back in 2016 by medical researchers Professor Matt Cooper and Professor Luke O’Neill, with a focus on the development of inflammasome inhibitors.

“We are delighted to close this deal with Roche, an outstanding pharmaceutical company with a broad commitment to multiple indications,” said Matt Cooper, chief executive officer of Inflazome.

With Inflazome now part of the Roche organization, Inflazome’s pioneering molecules are well positioned to be developed quickly and effectively so they can help patients suffering from debilitating diseases.”

Following the acquisition, Roche gains full rights to Inflazome’s entire portfolio of clinical and preclinical orally available small molecule NLRP3 inhibitors. Roche has plans to further develop Inflazome’s products across a wide range of indications with high unmet medical need.

Activated NLRP3 is involved in the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-18, which are believed to be a driving force behind several chronic inflammatory conditions.

The biotech is currently working on the development of drugs targeting inflammasomes associated with Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and other chronic inflammatory disease.