Pharma giant Roche is stepping a foot firmly in the tech world, putting down $1.9 billion to buy a software company founded by two ex-Googlers.
The company, called Flatiron Health, is developing tech for life science, academics, and hospitals. Roche was already a financial backer for the New York City-based company, previously owning 12% of Flatiron before the buyout. Adding up its existing stake, Roche is paying more like $2.1 billion to get its hands on the company.
Besides Roche, Flatiron’s biggest investors include Alphabet’s GV (formerly Google Ventures). The company was founded by ex-Google employees Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg.
Flatiron has an electronic health record system used by oncologists that collects data, which later becomes useful to drugmakers.
This latest deal highlight’s Roche’s increasing interest in technology companies. It’s previously partnered with 23andMe and Foundation Medicine.
“This is an important step in our personalized healthcare strategy for Roche, as we believe that regulatory-grade real-world evidence is a key ingredient to accelerate the development of, and access to, new cancer treatments,” said Roche CEO Daniel O’Day in a statement. “As a leading technology company in oncology, Flatiron Health is best positioned to provide the technology and data analytics infrastructure needed not only for Roche, but for oncology research and development efforts across the entire industry. “
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