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Roche Acquires Microbial Dx Firm GeneWeave for up to $425M

NEW YORK(GenomeWeb) – Roche today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire clinical diagnostics firm GeneWeave BioSciences for as much as $425 million.

Under the terms of the agreement, Roche will make a $190 million upfront payment to GeneWeave's shareholders and could pay an additional $235 million in product-related milestones. Once the deal is closed, Roche will integrate GeneWeave into its Molecular Diagnostics unit.

"With GeneWeave, we further strengthen our microbiology diagnostics offerings with cutting-edge technology that will aid in the fight against drug-resistant bacteria," Roche Diagnostics COO Roland Diggelmann said in a statement. "This technology has the potential to provide healthcare professionals access to quick and accurate diagnoses that can lead to rapid, informed treatment decisions."

Los Gatos, California-based GeneWeave is a privately held company offering clinical molecular diagnostics to quickly identify multidrug-resistant organisms and their antibiotic susceptibility. The company's Smarticles technology is designed to target and bind to species-, genus-, and family-specific DNA sequences of pathogens. If the particles bind to the bacterial genome, they release a DNA molecule causing the organism to express a luciferase reporter.

The firm's first system being developed is vivoDx, a fully automated random-access system that is designed to meet the needs of laboratories performing MDRO detection and antibiotic therapy guidance. The system is being evaluated in US sites, GeneWeave said.

The acquisition is the latest in Roche's molecular diagnostics shopping spree. To kick off the year, Roche bought point-of-care diagnostics firm Iquum for at least $275 million and Signature Diagnostics, a German translational genomics firm. In April, it acquired cancer diagnostics CAPP Medical, a Stanford University spinout.