Roche has signed a definitive agreement to acquire all the outstanding shares of biotech company TIB Molbiol Group in a bid to bolster its molecular diagnostics portfolio.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Based in Germany, TIB Molbiol supplies reagents for research and medical diagnostics worldwide.

The company, which produces custom oligonucleotides, has developed molecular diagnostics through collaborations as well as a wide range of diagnostic assays, of which the majority are to detect infectious diseases.

In addition, assays are available for inherited genetic and somatic mutation testing, along with quantitative assays for haematology and transplantation medicine.

Available as modular kits, the assays allow the formation of symptomatic panels via combination, including for emerging pathogens.

Roche has partnered with TIB Molbiol for more than two decades to quickly tackle serious healthcare needs, such as biological threats, including anthrax, Ebola, Zika and SARS viruses as well as the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its variants.

TIB Molbiol established its ability to create polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays to identify new pathogens within days in 2001 with anthrax and 2003 with SARS-CoV1, Roche noted.

Currently, TIB Molbiol’s more than 45 CE-IVD assays and over 100 research use assays are available on Roche’s LightCycler PCR systems and MagNA Pure sample preparation systems.

The acquisition will add a broad lineup of assays for infectious diseases, including for the SARS-CoV-2 variants detection, to Roche’s molecular diagnostics solutions range.

Roche diagnostics CEO Thomas Schinecker said: “With this acquisition, we can expand our offering of tests of existing pathogens and our response to emerging pathogens and potential health threats.

“At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, our collaboration provided the first research-use-only SARS-CoV-2 detection test that was provided in January 2020, only days after the new coronavirus was first sequenced.

“Together, we can further improve patient outcomes with innovative diagnostic solutions that alleviate healthcare costs.”

The acquisition is subject to customary conditions and set to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

In June, Roche obtained Emergency Use Authorisation from the US Food and Drug Administration for the use of its cobas SARS-CoV-2 Nucleic acid test in point of care settings.