Roche to spend $2.4bn buying rest of Foundation Medicine

Deal aims to strengthen Swiss drugmaker’s work on personalised cancer therapies

Roche headquarters in Basel, Switzerland: looking for new growth areas to compensate for the loss of exclusivity on long-time blockbuster drugs. Photograph: Arnd Wiegmann

Roche headquarters in Basel, Switzerland: looking for new growth areas to compensate for the loss of exclusivity on long-time blockbuster drugs. Photograph: Arnd Wiegmann

 

Swiss drugmaker Roche is to spend $2.4 billion (€2 billion) buying out remaining shareholders in Foundation Medicine, a US molecular and genomic analysis company in which it took a controlling stake three years ago.

The deal, announced on Tuesday, aims to strengthen Roche’s development of personalised cancer therapies as the Swiss group looks for new growth areas to compensate for the loss of exclusivity on long-time blockbuster drugs.

Copycat drugs

Roche has been more exposed than rivals to a wave of copycat drugs, including cancer treatments, which has put pressure on its profitability.

The Swiss group’s share price has fallen more than 17 per cent over the past year, but despite weak global financial markets it had risen 0.5 per cent by late afternoon European trading on Tuesday.

Foundation, which reported a net loss of $161 million on revenues of $153 million in 2017, won US Food and Drug Administration approval last year for a broad comprehensive genomic profiling test for solid tumours. – Copyright 2018 The Financial Times Ltd