Roche buys Signature Diagnostics


Aims to develop novel diagnostics for cancer patients

Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche has purchased German translational oncology and genomics company Signature Diagnostics for an undisclosed sum.

Based in Potsdam, Signature develops large blood plasma and tissue biobanks in cancers, including colorectal and lung. These biobanks are constructed from multicentre clinical studies and the company uses the samples plus accompanying clinical progression and genetic data to develop and validate circulating cell free DNA-based tests. These could advance non-invasive treatment response monitoring for cancer patients, Roche said.

Biobanks play an important role in uncovering the cause or origin of diseases such as cancer, said Roland Diggelmann, COO, Roche Diagnostics.

'Signature represents a unique bridge between high value cancer biobanks and NGS assay development.'

Roche will leverage Signature's expertise in both of these areas to accelerate the development of targeted NGS-based diagnostics.

Diggelmann added that biobanks can also be used for biomarker discovery and hypothesis testing with pharma.

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Roche will integrate Signature into its sequencing unit and will continue to expand the company's signature portfolio. Signature's tests are for research use only.