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Roche Acquiring Cervical Cancer Test Developer MTM Laboratories for up to $269M

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Roche today announced an agreement to acquire MTM Laboratories for up to €190 million ($269 million) in a deal that expands Roche's capabilities in cervical cancer testing.

Roche will pay an upfront fee of €130 million and up to €60 million in milestone payments. Upon completion of the acquisition, MTM will become part of Roche's Tissue Diagnostics business unit. Roche said it expects to close the deal in the coming weeks.

Based in Heidelberg, Germany, MTM has developed tests for the detection of cervical cancer. Its lead products are the CINtec Plus Cytology kit for detecting the overexpression of p16 in cervical Pap smears for identifying pre-cancerous lesions and CINtec Histology for detecting high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and cervical carcinoma in biopsy samples.

In January, MTM CEO Bob Silverman told GenomeWeb Daily News that the firm planned to seek clearance for both the CINtec Histology and CINtec Plus Cytology products from the US Food and Drug Administration. Today, Roche said that based on planned clinical trials, it will seek FDA pre-market approval for the CINtec Plus Cytology, while a PMA submission for CINtec Histology is in the planning phases.

In a statement, Roche, which launched the cobas HPV assay in the US in April, said that CINtec Plus Cytology broadens its capabilities in cervical testing, while CINtec Histology complements its menu of tissue-based diagnostics.

"The combination of cobas HPV and p16 tests may redefine the standard of care for cervical cancer testing by improving detection, reducing unnecessary cervical biopsies, and improving the confirmation of cervical pre-cancer," Daniel O'Day, COO of Roche Diagnostics, said. "This comprehensive offering is unmatched in the diagnostics industry and will give Roche a superior competitive position in the field of cervical cancer testing."