Roche acquires US diagnostics testing firm

Basel-based pharmaceutical giant Roche said on Monday that it is acquiring IQuum, a privately owned American molecular diagnostics testing firm, in a $450-million deal.

Roche acquires US diagnostics testing firm
Photo: Roche

Roche said the acquisition will provide the company with access to an IQuum system that allows healthcare workers to perform rapid molecular testing close to patients and with minimal training.

Under the terms of the deal, Roche said it will pay IQuum shareholders $275 million upfront plus an additional $175 million linked to “product-related milestones”.

“With IQuum, we further strengthen our molecular diagnostics offerings with cutting-edge technology and products that serve the point of care segment,” Roland Diggelmann, Chief Operating Officer of Roche Diagnostics, said in a statement.

“Patients will benefit from on-the-spot and accurate diagnoses, which will allow healthcare professionals to make rapid, informed treatment decisions in flexible settings,” Diggelmann said.

IQuum, based near Boston, Massachusetts, bills itself as a leader in “lab-in-a-tube technology” that enables non-specialized staff to quickly perform sophisticated biological sample testing, for strains of the flu, for example.

Its technology promises a uniform system for cellular, protein and nucleic acid tests, providing "comprehensive information" from biological samples.

The Swiss-based Roch group is the world’s largest biotech company with more than 85,000 employees worldwide and revenues of almost 47 billion francs in 2013.

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