Roche Continues Omics & MDx Buying Spree

February 9, 2015

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Continuing a buying spree, Roche today announced it acquired German translational oncology and genomics firm Signature Diagnostics for an undisclosed amount.

Based in Potsdam, Signature develops large blood plasma and tissue biobanks in cancers, including lung and colorectal cancer. The biobanks are constructed from multicenter prospective clinical studies, and Signature uses the samples, along with accompanying clinical progression and genetic data, to develop and validate circulating cell-free DNA-based tests. The tests, Roche said, could advance non-invasive treatment response monitoring for cancer patients.

Noting the importance of biobanks in research into the origins of diseases such as cancer, Roche Diagnostics COO Roland Diggelmann said, “Signature represents a unique bridge between high-value cancer biobanks and [next-generation sequencing] assay development.” He added that biobanks can be used for biomarker discovery and hypothesis testing with pharma.

Roche will leverage Signature’s capabilities to accelerate the development of NGS-based diagnostics, he said. In the fall of 2013, Signature told GenomeWeb that it had developed a plasma-based ultradeep sequencing test to monitor colorectal cancer patients and detect metastasis in the early stages.

Roche will integrate Signature into its sequencing unit and will continue to expand the company’s genomic signature portfolio, it said. Signature’s tests are for research use only.

The acquisition is the latest by Roche, which has been on a buying binge in the omics and molecular diagnostics space during the past year. In December, it bought informatics shop Bina Technologies and non-invasive prenatal testing firm Ariosa Diagnostics. Last spring, it acquired NGS firm Genia and point-of-care molecular diagnostics company Iquum.

Roche also acquired NGS sample preparation technology from AbVitro last October and made an investment into NGS firm Stratos Genomics in June 2014.

This, and other Genomics and Genetics stories, available from genomeweb.

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John Macey

I was born, and principally educated, in the fields of biochemistry, and business management in the northeastern USA. However, my world-wide professional career has greatly expanded upon that US base to involve the many different segments of the Biotech / Life Science fields globally. – I have been dressed as a surgeon to view many, many surgical proceedures - The major players in the health care fields that I have worked for include: Johnson & Johnson, DuPont, Abbott Laboratories, and F. Hoffmann-La Roche. – Positions have included selling nuclear materials for both in-vivo & in-vitro (radio-pharmaceutical & radio-immunoassay) medical diagnostic purposes, in the four countries in Scandinavia, based south of Stockholm, to managing Ph. Ds at a global Swiss headquarters location. – At one time I held a position of Strategy Manager for Europe, Middle-East & Africa (EME&A) for a Chicago based company, but living in Germany. – I do speak fluent colloquial German. – In addition to having lived in multiple European countries, my professional career took me to Asia for well over a decade. There I had management control of Oceania, the Pacific Rim, Northern Asia, Japan, out to India. – Occasionally, management assignments have taken me to all of Latin America, and most of South America. – I am extremely culturally aware, a skilled negotiator, and a seasoned manager of men and science. – My one abiding passion has always been computing, data, and analysis. As such, my main computer operating system is Linux, and open-source computer applications. – I do also run Microsoft 7, and Mac OS X (all 3 operating systems on the same H-P Ultrabook). I hope you enjoy your time on the Blog, and should you have any comments / feedback please feel free to email me @, or visit my Linux Web Site @ (always evolving) – John J. Macey – AKA Adler, which in German means Eagle – Wildwood, New Jersey - Together, we can expand your global markets - with our partnerships. The partnerships are global utlizing multiple Law, Regulatory, Seasoned Management, Employment, M&A and buidlers of Business. Contact use.