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Roche’s announcement Monday that it would pay $310 million for rights to a hypertension treatment, zilebesiran, invented by the biotech firm Alnylam is evidence of a renewed interest on the part of large pharmaceutical companies for treatments for cardiovascular disease.

If things go well, Roche could pay Alnylam up to $2.8 billion in total.


Heart drugs were once the most lucrative category of pharmaceuticals, but they have been eclipsed by treatments for cancer and other diseases as drug firms have struggled to one-up existing treatments for high blood pressure and high cholesterol that are now available as cheap generics.

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