Swiss global healthcare firm Roche has completed the acquisition of Germany-based translational oncology and genomics firm Signature Diagnostics, to advance translational research for next-generation sequencing (NGS) diagnostics.
The German firm is focused on developing large blood plasma and tissue biobanks in multiple cancers, including colorectal and lung, which are constructed from multicenter prospective clinical studies.
In order to develop new diagnostics for cancer patients, Roche will leverage Signature’s expertise in both biobanks and NGS assays.
Roche Diagnostics chief operating officer Roland Diggelmann said: "Biobanks play an important role in uncovering the cause or origin of disease such as cancer which is important in translational research and the development of personalised therapies for patients.
"Roche plans to leverage Signature’s expertise in both of these areas to accelerate the development of targeted NGS-based diagnostics in the future. Biobanks can also be used for biomarker discovery and hypothesis testing with pharma."
Samples from Signature’s biobanks are used to develop and validate circulating cell free DNA (cfDNA) tests, which hold the potential to advance non-invasive treatment response monitoring for patients with cancer.
Signature CEO André Rosenthal said: "Joining forces with Roche is very exciting as it will allow us to further develop our NGS assays for sequencing tests using cfDNA, which may advance the development of non-invasive treatment response monitoring for cancer patients."
Signature will now be integrated into Roche’s Sequencing Unit, and will continue to focus on expanding its genomic signature portfolio.