Roche acquires Flatiron Health for a cool $1.9bn
A global p...
Five years after its Series A funding round, led by Google Ventures in 2013, Flatiron Health has agreed to a takeover from Roche for $1.9bn.
A global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, Roche has become the world’s largest biotech company, and a leader in in vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics, in addition to diabetes management.
A leader in oncology-specific electronic health record software, Flatiron accelerates cancer research and seeks to improve patient care. Its platform enables cancer researchers and care providers to learn from the experience of each patient to further the development of new treatments.
Partnering with over 250 community cancer clinics, six major academic research centres and 14 out of the top 15 therapeutic oncology companies, the company’s large network is set to cement Roche’s position within the industry, whilst furthering its ambition to deliver bespoke healthcare solutions.
The deal will see Roche acquire all shares of Flatiron Health, following on from an existing 12.6% equity stake.
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Daniel O’Day, CEO Roche Pharmaceuticals said, “This is an important step in our personalised healthcare strategy for Roche, as we believe that regulatory-grade real-world evidence is a key ingredient to accelerate the development of, and access to, new cancer treatments.
“As a leading technology company in oncology, Flatiron Health is best positioned to provide the technology and data analytics infrastructure needed not only for Roche, but for oncology research and development efforts across the entire industry. A key principle of this is to preserve Flatiron’s autonomy and their ability to continue providing their services to all existing and future partners.”
Flatiron Health has worked with industry leaders and regulators to develop new standards for how real-world evidence is used in regulatory decision making, including the design and validation of novel endpoints. By working closely with its network of community practices and academic medical centers, Flatiron has also developed a suite of software products that uniquely positions the company to advance the use of real-world evidence at the point of care.
Nat Turner, Flatiron Health Co-Founder and CEO said, “Roche has been a tremendous partner to us over the past two years and shares our vision for building a learning healthcare platform in oncology ultimately designed to improve the lives of cancer patients.
This important milestone will allow us to increase our investments in our provider-facing technology and services platform, as well as our evidence-generation platform, which will remain available to the entire healthcare industry.”
NHS opens 8 clinical trial sites to assess cancer treatment
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) is opening eight clinical trial sites to assess patients' responses to personalised cancer therapy.
The trials will analyse how patients diagnosed with advanced melanoma or non-small cell lung cancer respond to immunotherapy, to help predict their response to treatment. They will be hosted at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust facilities.
Immunotherapy helps the body's own immune system fight cancer, but while it has achieved good results for some cancer patients, it is not successful for everyone. Finding ways to predict which people will respond to the treatment is a major area of research.
OncoHost, an oncology startup, will provide advanced machine learning technology to develop personalised strategies aiming to improve the success rate of the cancer therapy. The trials will contribute to OncoHost’s ongoing PROPHETIC study, which uses the company’s host response profiling platform, PROphet®.
“Immunotherapy has achieved excellent results in certain situations for several cancers, allowing patients to achieve longer control of their cancer with maintained quality of life and longer survival,” said Dr David Farrugia, Consultant Medical Oncologist at NHS, and chief investigator of all eight NHS clinical trial sites.
“However, success with immunotherapy is not guaranteed in every patient, so this PROPHETIC study is seeking to identify changes in proteins circulating in the blood which may help doctors to choose the best treatment for each patient."
"I am excited that Gloucestershire Oncology Centre and its research department have this opportunity to contribute to this growing field of research and I am determined that our centre will make a leading national contribution in patient recruitment.”
Previous studies in the US and Israel have shown that PROphet® has high accuracy in predicting how patients with cancer will respond to various therapies.