Roche Holding Ltd. (ADR) (OTCMKTS:RHHBY) announced the acquisition of Signature Diagnostics AG to advance translational research for NGS diagnostics. It will leverage unique expertise of Signature in both NGS assays and biobanks to develop innovative diagnostics for cancer patients.
Signature is a translational genomics and oncology firm that develops large tissue biobanks and blood plasma in multiple cancers, including lung and colorectal, which are prepared from multicenter prospective clinical research. It further utilizes the samples from its biobanks so as to develop and validate cfDNA tests1. These tests can result in non-invasive treatment response monitoring for cancer patients. Signature was formed in 2004 and has expertise in developing sequencing tests utilizing cfDNA.
The management view
Roland Diggelmann, the COO of Roche Diagnostics, said that biobanks holds great importance in identifying the origin or cause of diseases such as cancer that is vital in translational study and the development of advanced personalized treatments for patients. Signature represents an innovative bridge between NGS assay development and high-value cancer biobanks. Roche Holding Ltd. (ADR) (OTCMKTS:RHHBY) intends to leverage Signature’s capabilities in both the areas for rapid development of NGS-based diagnostics in the coming period. Biobanks can even be utilized for biomarker identification and hypothesis testing with Pharma.
An exciting opportunity
Andre Rosenthal, the CEO of Signature, said that it was great to see Roche recognize the significance of high-quality cancer biobanks. They formed the base for the development of advanced NGS-based diagnostics. It is a great opportunity to work in association with Roche. It will permit Signature to work on NGS assays for sequencing tests utilizing cfDNA. Signature will become a part of Roche Holding Ltd. (ADR) (OTCMKTS:RHHBY) Sequencing segment and will focus on expanding its unique genomic signature portfolio.
Earnings and revenue
Roche Holding Ltd. (ADR) (OTCMKTS:RHHBY) reported 16% decline in 2014 earnings compared to a year ago. The debt restructuring, additional expenses and unfavorable exchange rates resulted in lower profits.