Roche to acquire US oncology software company Flatiron Health for $1.9bn

Roche acquisition of Flatiron Health: Swiss pharma company Roche is all set to fully acquire oncology software company Flatiron Health in a $1.9 billion deal to speed up development of cancer drugs.

A little over two years ago, Roche led a Series C fundraising round that saw the US-based Flatiron Health raise $175 million. The Swiss pharma company has held a stake of 12.6% in the healthcare technology and services company.

As per a report in CNBC, certain cancer doctors use an electronic health record software developed by Flatiron Health, which helps cancer researchers and pharma companies use the data collected through it to come up with better cancer treatments. The data also helps them in enrolling suitable patients for cancer clinical trials.

Flatiron Health’s electronic health record software curates and develops real-world evidence to help in cancer research. The oncology software company is said to have a vast network of community oncology practices and academic medical centers in the United States with its technology platform designed to study from the experience of every cancer patient.

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in New York, Flatiron Health had raised $130 million in May 2014 in a Series B round that was led by Google Ventures.

Roche believes that the acquisition of Flatiron Health means the coming together of two companies looking to improve the lives of people with cancer by tapping into healthcare data and analytics.

Roche location in Basel, Switzerland

Roche location in Basel, Switzerland. Photo courtesy of F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd..

Daniel O’Day – CEO of Roche Pharmaceuticals, commenting on Roche acquisition of Flatiron Health, 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 is also said to have collaborated with leading pharma companies and regulators to come up with new methods for how real-world evidence can be utilized in making regulatory decisions such as the design and validation of novel endpoints.

Through its partnership with community practices network and academic medical centers, the oncology software company has developed a suite of software solutions that are useful in advancing the application of real-world evidence at the point of care.

Following Roche acquisition of Flatiron Health, the current business model, partnership networks and overall objectives of the oncology software company will all be retained.

Commenting on Roche acquisition of Flatiron Health, Nat Turner – co-founder and CEO of Flatiron Health, 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.”

The completion of Roche acquisition of Flatiron Health will be after meeting customary closing conditions, after which the oncology software company will continue its operations as a separate legal entity.

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