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Roche Acquires IQuum

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In order to strengthen its diagnostics business, Roche (RHHBY) announced that it has acquired privately held IQuum, Inc. for $275 million in upfront cash.

The acquisition price also includes $175 million in milestone payments. Based in Massachusetts, IQuum focuses on developing point of care offerings for the molecular diagnostics market.

IQuum will now be integrated into Roche Molecular Diagnostics. The acquisition will enable Roche access IQuum’s proprietary Laboratory-in-a-tube (Liat) System. This system allows healthcare workers to perform rapid molecular diagnostic testing in a point of care setting, closer to patients and with minimal training. 

Both the Liat Analyzer and Liat Influenza A/B Assay are approved in Europe and the U.S.

We remind investors that Roche is a leader in drugs for oncology, immunology and infectious diseases. Apart from providing therapeutic products and services for diverse medical needs, Roche also focuses on innovative diagnostic solutions for the early detection and treatment of diseases.

The Diagnostics division generated sales of $10.5 billion in 2013, up 4% from a year ago. Roche has a broad portfolio of diagnostic tests with more than a hundred high-quality Elecsys assays for immune testing along with a new generation of fully automated cobas analyzers for improved medical decision making, scheduling and efficiency.

We are encouraged by Roche’s efforts to strengthen its Diagnostic division. The acquisition will further strengthen Roche’s portfolio.

Roche currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks include Shire (SHPG), Questcor (QCOR) and Salix Pharmaceuticals (SLXP). While Shire carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), the other two carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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