Roche has linked up with Chiasma to develop and market Octreolin, the latter's investigational treatment for growth hormone disorders.

Octreolin is oral form of the peptide octreotide, a somatostatin analogue that is commercially available only by injection and is marketed by Novartis as Sandostatin. The Chiasma drug is currently in a Phase III trial for acromegaly, a disorder that develops when a person's pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone.

Under the terms of the agreement, Roche's Genentech unit will pay an upfront fee of $65 million and further milestones of up to $530 million, plus double-digit royalties on net sales of Octreolin. Chiasma, which is privately-owned US-Israeli based firm, will continue development through completion of the Phase III acromegaly trial. The treatment will be subsequently studied for neuroendocrine tumours.

Roche's chief medical officer Hal Barron noted that if approved, Octreolin would be an important alternative for patients with acromegaly as it "avoids the painful injections of current treatment options". Fredric Price, Chiasma’s chief executive, said Roche is "an ideal collaboration partner that has the right development and commercial resources in the areas of endocrinology and oncology to support Octreolin".