Roche has signed a definitive merger agreement to completely acquire GenMark Diagnostics for a total transaction value of nearly $1.8bn.

Under the agreement, the company will launch a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of GenMark’s common stock at a price of $24.05 per share in an all-cash transaction.

US-based GenMark provides molecular diagnostic solutions designed to detect multiple pathogens from a single patient sample.

The addition of the company’s syndromic panel testing portfolio expands Roche’s molecular diagnostics portfolio.

GenMark’s Respiratory Pathogen Panels can detect the most common viral and bacterial organisms associated with an upper respiratory infection, including SARS-CoV-2, complementing Roche’s Covid-19 diagnostics solutions portfolio.

Roche Diagnostics CEO Thomas Schinecker said: “Acquiring GenMark Diagnostics will broaden our molecular diagnostics portfolio to include solutions that can provide lifesaving information quickly to patients and their healthcare providers in the fight against infectious diseases.

“Their proven expertise in syndromic panel testing provides faster targeted therapeutic intervention, resulting in improved patient outcomes and reduced hospital stays, and will contribute to Roche’s commitment to helping control infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance.

“The rapid identification of bloodstream infections and the detection of antimicrobial resistance genes are more essential than ever for hospitals and their patients.”

The GenMark and Roche boards of directors have approved the merger agreement unanimously.

Upon closing of the acquisition, GenMark’s principal operations will continue at its existing location in Carlsbad, California, US.

Subject to customary closing conditions, the deal is expected to be concluded in the second quarter of this year.