Softbank buys 4.2 billion stake in pharmaceutical company Roche

Swiss drugmaker Roche Pharma is up 0.5% after Bloomberg today advanced that SoftBank has acquired a $5 billion (€4.22 billion) stake in the company.

SoftBank Group Corp.’s stake becomes one of the Swiss drugmaker’s biggest investors, betting on the pharma company’s strategy of using data to develop drugs, sources familiar with the deal tell Bloomberg.

Roche’s sales have been boosted recently by its portfolio in Covid-19 testing, an area the diagnostics unit has focused on early during the pandemic, even as its traditional antitumor drug division faces increasing competition.

SoftBank believes Roche’s Genentech biotech division, which focuses on data-driven drug discovery and development, is grossly undervalued, notes one of these unnamed sources.

Last year Roche hired Aviv Regev, a computational and systems biologist who was a core member of the Harvard University-affiliated Broad Institute, to head the Genetech research unit.

Shares of the Basel, Switzerland-based company are up 8.8% over the past 12 months, compared with a 14.7% rise in the MSCI World Pharma Biotech & Life Sciences index over the same period.

Source: Expansión.