Economy

Roche Buys Flatiron in $1.9B 'Big Data' Move

Roche Buys Flatiron in $1.9B 'Big Data' Move

Flatiron Health analyses real-time oncology data to help cancer patients at the point of care. While this service to oncologists will be marketed globally, FMI partnered with Flatiron Health in the United States to link tumour profiles with electronic medical records (EMRs) of patients from 265 community cancer clinics, six major academic research centers and 14 therapeutic oncology companies, which include therapeutic history and outcomes, in order to be able to improve diagnosis, drug selection and patient stratification for clinical trials as well as providing real world evidence for effective cancer drug combos to the regulatory authorities.

Flatiron will however continue to operate as a separate company, and Roche indicated retaining that autonomy is important "to provide the technology and data analytics infrastructure needed not only for Roche, but for oncology research and development efforts across the entire industry".

The pharmaceutical giant is paying $1.9 billion for the New York-based healthcare technology startup, which collects clinical data from cancer patients - such as what medications patients have taken and how they have responded to them. The parties expect that following the closing, Flatiron Health will continue its current business model, network of partnerships and overall objectives. The pharmaceutical and biotechnology company had already invested $200 million into Flatiron and owned 12.6% of the company.

Roche said it expected the transaction to close in the first half of 2018.

More news: Stocks Luring Investors Focus: Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI)

Flatiron was founded in 2012 by ex-Google employees Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg. The company says its platform now has information on 2 million unique cancer patients. Currently, Flatiron partners with over 265 community cancer clinics, six major academic research centers and 14 out of the top 15 therapeutic oncology companies. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news. The acquisition and cash infusion "will allow us to increase our investments in our provider-facing technology and services platform, as well as our evidence-generation platform".

"It gives us better insights into the potential for our products", Roche's head of pricing Jens Grueger told Reuters in a 2016 interview. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management.

The company has partnered with the Food and Drug Administration over this data, which could one day influence how we treat cancer, and has also partnered with another Roche-backed cancer company Foundation Medicine.


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