Roche acquires DNA sequencing technology company Stratos Genomics


Roche acquisition of Stratos Genomics : Swiss pharma giant Roche has acquired US-based early-stage DNA sequencing technology company Stratos Genomics for an undisclosed price.

The transaction is expected to help Roche advance the development of its nanopore sequencer through the access to Sequencing by Expansion (SBX), Stratos Genomics’ unique chemistry.

Roche said that once developed, its nanopore sequencer will use a novel approach that combines electronic and biological components for the sequencing of DNA for quicker, flexible, and cost-effective clinical diagnostic testing.

As per Stratos Genomics, SBX is a fourth-generation DNA sequencing method that employs a simple biochemical reaction to encode the sequence of a DNA molecule into an Xpandomer, a highly measurable surrogate polymer.

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Xpandomers are said to encode the sequence information in high signal-to-noise reporters that help in high-fidelity, single molecule sequencing in a low-cost nanopore instrument. The complete process time from DNA sample to nanopore measurement is said to be less than an hour, thereby enabling rapid diagnostics and treatment.

Roche acquisition of Stratos Genomics

Roche acquisition of Stratos Genomics. Photo courtesy of F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.

Commenting on Roche acquisition of Stratos Genomics, Thomas Schinecker – CEO of Roche Diagnostics said: “Roche is dedicated to creating innovative diagnostics for the most challenging clinical conditions with techniques that are tailored to individual genetic and disease profiles. These solutions address the demands of research and clinical practice to deliver on the promise of personalised healthcare for patients.

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“We look forward to further advancing our sequencing technology as we move to the next generation of healthcare and welcome the world-class scientists and employees from Stratos Genomics to Roche.”

According to Roche, the addition of the SBX chemistry, after it is completely developed, is anticipated to offer the healthcare community an affordable, quicker, and flexible result, for multiple targeted clinical applications and also as whole exome and whole genome sequencing.

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Mark Kokoris – President and CEO at Stratos Genomics, commenting on Roche acquisition of Stratos Genomics, said: “We are thrilled to join the Roche family, which will allow us to combine our unique Sequencing by Expansion chemistry with the Roche nanopore sequencer.

“With our combined expertise and complementary technologies, we are well-positioned to open the path to deliver scalable, high-performance sequencing to clinicians and researchers.”

Roche said that Stratos Genomics will continue its operations at its original location in Seattle, Washington.

Prior to the acquisition, Roche in 2014, invested in the DNA sequencing technology company.

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