Roche Acquires Nanopore-Sequencing Firm

A Roche spokesperson told IBO, “The acquisition of Genia will enhance our sequencing product pipeline, and the intention is to introduce an advanced and differentiated product to the market. By using single-molecule electrical detection, Genia’s proprietary technology is expected to reduce the price of sequencing while increasing speed and accuracy.” Currently, Genia has 33 employees. Roche plans to double that number by the end of this year. Genia’s system is based on a disposable, integrated circuit chip, electrical detection and sequencing-by-synthesis chemistry. Roche also has an agreement in place with Pacific Biosciences, which is developing sequencing products for Roche to exclusively distribute for IVD applications (see IBO 9/30/13).

Basel, Germany 6/2/14—Roche has acquired Genia Technologies, a developer of single-molecule DNA-sequencing technology, for $125 million in cash and up to $225 million in contingent payments. Genia’s platform employs semiconductor-based nanopore technology and is expected to reduce the price of sequencing. The platform allows for electrical real-time analysis without the need for complicated optics, labels, amplification or fluidics and employs NanoTag chemistry to enable accurate base calls. “The acquisition of Genia is a further step for Roche to introduce a potentially disruptive technology to the market,” stated Roche Diagnostics COO Roland Diggelmann. “The addition of Genia’s single-molecule semiconductor DNA-sequencing platform using nanopore technology strengthens our next-generation sequencing pipeline.” Genia joins the Roche Sequencing Unit.

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