Roche has hit the acquisition trail to buy France’s Trophos in a deal that could be worth 470 million euros.

Trophos, a privately-held biotech based in Marseille, France, has developed olesoxime, which is being developed for spinal muscular atrophy – a rare and debilitating genetic neuromuscular disease that is most commonly diagnosed in children. Results from a Phase II trial have shown a beneficial effect on the maintenance of neuromuscular function and a reduction in medical complications associated with the disease.

Under the terms of the agreement, Trophos’ shareholders will receive 120 million euros upfront and up to 350 million euros based on achievement of predetermined milestones.

Roche’s chief medical officer Sandra Horning said “we will build on the work done by Trophos and the French Muscular Dystrophy Association to advance the development of olesoxime and to bring it to people who live with this devastating condition as quickly as possible”. The compound has orphan drug status on both sides of the Atlantic.

The deal rounds off a busy week for Roche, which has paid over $1 billion to acquire a majority stake in molecular information company Foundation Medicine. The Swiss giant licensed an early-stage treatment for antibiotic resistance from Japan’s Meiji Seika Pharma and Fedora of Canada in a deal that could be worth $750 million.