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Roche Acquires POC MDx Firm Iquum

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Roche said today that it has acquired Iquum, a privately held company developing point-of-care molecular diagnostics.

Under the terms of the agreement, Roche will pay Iquum shareholders $275 million upfront and up to $175 million in contingent product-related milestones. Once the transaction is complete, pending customary closing conditions, Marlborough, Mass.-based Iquum will be integrated into Roche Molecular Diagnostics.

The acquisition provides Roche with access to Iquum's Liat (laboratory-in-a-tube) System, a point-of-care molecular testing system, as well as the Liat Influenza A/B assay, a rapid, near-patient test to detect and differentiate influenza A and B. Both the system and the assay have been CE marked and received 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration.

"With Iquum, we further strengthen our molecular diagnostics offerings with cutting-edge technology and products that serve the point-of-care segment," Roland Diggelmann, COO of Roche Diagnostics, said in a statement. "We welcome Iquum's employees, who will continue to focus on the development and manufacturing of the Liat Analyzer and assays."

Last year, Iquum was named as one of three firms (along with BioFire Diagnostics, now part of BioMérieux; and Focus Diagnostics, a Quest Diagnostics subsidiary) to share more than $23 million from the US Department of Defense to develop a platform and assays to detect biological warfare agents.

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