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Roche buys out rest of Foundation Medicine for $2.4bn

Published on 19/06/18 at 08:52am

Roche has clearly seen significant potential in Foundation Medicine’s work in genomics to pay $2.4 billion to take complete ownership of the company.

The big pharma company had already owned 58% of shares in Foundation Medicine, but decided to buy out the remaining shares to take the complete valuation of the company to $5.3 billion.

Foundation Medicine was founded in 2010 and is based just outside of Boston. It specialised in developing diagnostic tools to allow for targeted therapies to be chosen for patients.

This led to the FDA approval of FoundationFocus CDxBRCA, a diagnostic device designed to detect the BRCA mutations. The company also launched FoundationOne CDx, which is a broad companion diagnostic for solid tumours.

Only last month, MSD had signed a deal with Foundation Medicine in order to develop a companion diagnostic test for its immunotherapy, Keytruda. This joined previous deal with Chugai Pharmaceutical, BMS and Pfizer.

Clearly the demand for its devices is there and being able to have access to exclusive diagnostic devices will be of clear benefit to Roche, as it moves to cement its position in cancer.

Though, in a statement, Roche made it clear that it would allow Foundation Medicine a level of independence, which will presumably allow the company pursue further collaboration deals.

Daniel O'Day, CEO of Roche Pharmaceuticals, said, “This is important to our personalised healthcare strategy as we believe molecular insights and the broad availability of high quality comprehensive genomic profiling are key enablers for the development of, and access to, new cancer treatments. We will preserve FMI's autonomy while supporting them in accelerating their progress.”

The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2018.

Ben Hargreaves

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