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Roche pays $220m for blood-testing company

Boosts diagnostics business with acquisition of Constitution Medical Investors

Roche Bloodhound diagnostic
The Bloodhound system to diagnose haematological conditions

Roche said yesterday it is to acquire Constitution Medical Investors (CMI), which markets a system to diagnose blood-related conditions.

The Swiss pharma company will pay $220m for CMI, gaining access to its 'Bloodhound' technology, which Roche says is designed to provide faster and more accurate diagnosis of haematological diseases, potentially improving patient care.

CMI will serve as a 'centre of excellence' in the field of haematology within Roche Diagnostics, and will receive further payments depending on the achievement of certain milestones.

The Bloodhound system at the heart of the deal was launched in 2011 and combines a digital morphologic analyser, cell counter and classifier into one unit.

This enables it to count, identify, isolate and categorise both white and red blood cells, as well as platelets in the blood.

“Patients will benefit from faster and more accurate diagnosis of blood diseases such as anaemia and leukaemia,” said Roland Diggelmann, chief operating officer of Roche Diagnostics.

He added that the move will strengthen the company's efforts in laboratory haematology testing, which is estimated to have a global market value of more than $2bn.

Diagnostics is an increasingly important area for Roche, with a jump in sales of 3.9 per cent in 2012 helping the division account for 21.3 per cent of total group sales during 2012.

The CMI acquisition will boost this division's current efforts in blood testing, which includes Roche's cobas series of analysers, although these are used across a wider range of conditions and don't specialise in haematological diseases.

This includes Elecsys Calcitonin cobas modular analyser platform, which in April 2013 became the first test available for early diagnosis of medullary thyroid cancer in patients who have undergone thyroid surgery, and was followed a month later by FDA approval of Roche's assay to diagnose diabetes.

Other recent activities for Roche Diagnostics include the purchase in 2011 of MTM Laboratories, a company specialising in products for cervical cancer diagnosis, and the decision late last year to construct a new production facility in Germany to produce diagnostic test and control reagents.

3rd July 2013

From: Sales, Healthcare

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