Pharma giant Roche just made a $2.4 billion bet on cancer data | Tech News


Roche just made another big bet on cancer data.

On Tuesday, the Swiss pharma giant acquired the rest of Foundation Medicine, a company that sequences the genetics of a person’s tumor, for $2.4 billion.

Roche had held a majority stake in the company, and the deal values Foundation at $5.3 billion, a 29% premium to where Foundation’s stock closed on Monday. Foundation was up 28% in pre-market trading Tuesday.

It’s the second cancer-data-related deal Roche has done in 2018. In February, Roche paid $1.9 billion for the New York-based healthcare technology startup Flatiron Health, which collects clinical data from cancer patients – such as what medications patients have taken and how they have responded to them.

In addition to its tumor-sequencing tests for patients, Foundation Medicine has been work with pharmaceutical companies to create tests that could help better predict whether a person responds to a particular cancer treatment know as immunotherapy. As part of the deal, Foundation will continue to operate independently, Roche said.

“Joining forces with Roche as an independent operating company allows Foundation Medicine to continue its collaboration with Roche, as well as our biopharma partners, to drive ubiquitous access to CGP testing and innovative data services,” Foundation CEO Troy Cox said in a news release.

Flatiron and Foundation, which had both been backed by Roche prior to acquisition, had teamed up most recently in 2016 to launch a health database filled with information from 20,000 people, both clinically and genetically.

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