Roche Pays $2.4 Billion for Rest of Cancer Expert, Foundation Medicine

(Credit: Roche)

Big pharma company, Roche is paying $2.4 billion to buy the rest of Foundation Medicine.  

The Swiss drugmaker has clearly noticed the genomic profiling group’s ability to personalise cancer care, now that it will take complete ownership of the company. 

Roche had already owned 58% of the shares in Foundation Medicine, but will now take the complete valuation of the company to 5.3 billion.

The transaction is set to close in the second half of this year, the partners said in a statement Tuesday. 

Roche is clearly living up to becoming the world’s largest maker of cancer drugs, now seeking to tap onto technology developed by biotechs to drive future growth as its older drugs face competition. 

Earlier this year, it agreed to buy the rest of U.S. digital healthcare company Flatiron Health for $1.9 billion in a similar deal.

Flatiron designs and develops oncology-specific electronic health record software, and supports in curating and developing real-world evidence for cancer research.

Foundation Medicine develops tests to help doctors understand the genetic profile of patients’ tumours and guide them to effective therapies.

“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,” Roche CEO, Daniel O’Day said in a statement. “We will preserve Foundation Medicine’s autonomy while supporting them in accelerating their progress.”

According to Reuters, Vontobel analyst Stefan Schneider said the deal fitted very well with Roche’s position as an early leader in matching treatment to genetic profiles. 

“This isn’t only an advantage for the patients, but also should allow Roche to have more effective and targeted drugs, which should improve drug development and ultimately pricing power,” he said.