Roche Is Willing to Pay a Pretty Penny for the Rest of Foundation Medicine

Roche agreed to pay $2.4 billion to acquire the remaining shares of Foundation Medicine, a company that develops genomic profiling assays to pair cancer patients with relevant treatments and clinical trials.

Roche already owns a majority stake in Foundation Medicine, but now the Swiss company wants to buy the rest of the genomic diagnostics company, and it is willing to pay a pretty penny to do so.

Roche agreed to pay $137 a share to buy the rest of Cambridge, MA-based Foundation Medicine, a $2.4 billion transaction that values the company at $5.3 billion. The offer price represents a 29% premium over Foundation Medicine's closing stock price Monday. The deal is expected to close during the second half of the year.

The deal marks a turning point in Roche's relationship with Foundation Medicine, which dates back to January 2015 when Roche invested roughly $1.03 billion to acquire a majority interest in Foundation Medicine. The partnership included a broad R&D collaboration to accelerate Foundation Medicine's new product development initiatives, optimize treatments for cancer patients, and better design and understand the results of clinical trials based on molecular information, as well as a commercial collaboration aimed at expanding the global sales efforts for the company's products.

Foundation Medicine develops genomic profiling assays designed to identify the molecular alterations in a patient's cancer and match them with relevant targeted therapies, immunotherapies, and clinical trials. Roche said Foundation Medicine will continue to operate as a separate and autonomous legal entity.

In December 2017, Foundation Medicine scored FDA approval for a first-of-its-kind companion diagnostics test. The FoundationOneCDx is designed to identify patients who may benefit from treatment with specific targeted therapies, help inform the use of other targeted cancer therapies, provide a tool for doctors to identify opportunities for patients to participate in clinical trials, and help biopharma companies develop new precision drugs. For more on that test, see the story "How a New Genomic Test Could Change Cancer Care."

"This is important to our personalized 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," said Daniel O’Day, CEO of Roche Pharmaceuticals.

This represents the second largest medtech deal reported so far in 2018. Check out our list of biggest medtech M&As this year

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