Roche scoops up Signature Diagnostics to gain ground in next-generation sequencing

Roland Diggelmann, COO of Roche Diagnostics Global--Courtesy of Roche

Roche ($RHHBY) snatched up Germany's Signature Diagnostics to get its hands on the company's next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology, advancing its cancer testing portfolio and riding a wave of recent acquisitions.

Under the deal, Roche will use samples from Signature's blood plasma and tissue biobanks to develop circulating cell free DNA tests to noninvasively monitor patients with cancer. Biobanks play an important role in uncovering the cause or origin behind diseases such as cancer and can also be used to uncover biomarkers and develop personalized treatments for patients, Roland Diggelmann, COO of Roche Diagnostics, said in a statement.

"Signature represents a unique bridge between high value cancer biobanks and NGS assay development. Roche plans to leverage Signature's expertise in both of these areas to accelerate the development of targeted NGS-based diagnostics in the future," Diggelmann said.

Neither side is revealing financial details, but Signature will be integrated into Roche's Sequencing Unit and will continue to expand its sequencing portfolio.

The deal comes amid more M&A for Roche, as the company looks to gain ground in the DNA sequencing market and diversify its offerings. In June, Roche scooped up DNA sequencing outfit Genia Technologies for up to $350 million, inheriting the company's single-molecule semiconductor DNA sequencing platform. In December, the Swiss diagnostics giant purchased Bina Technologies for an undisclosed sum, gaining access to Bina's Genomic Management Solution for genomic sequencing.

Last month, Roche shelled out $1 billion plus milestones to grab a majority share in Foundation Medicine ($FMI). The deal stands to benefit both sides, as Roche can accelerate Foundation's innovative molecular and genomic analysis platforms, and Foundation can help Roche develop next-generation treatment options for cancer patients. Roche said it would commit up to $150 million in funding over the next 5 years to bolster R&D for cancer diagnostics as part of the collaboration.

- read the release

Suggested Articles

Boehringer Ingelheim tapped Healx to help identify new drug indications and leverage its AI to explore R&D options in neurological diseases.

CMR Surgical will have a new CEO at the top of the year, as it kicks off the global launch of its modular Versius system while awaiting FDA approval.

The ADDF announced its second round of research awards, with a total of $6 million in new funding for diagnostic tests.