Roche Bolsters Diagnostics Division with Acquisition of Longtime Partner


Swiss pharma giant Roche bolstered its diagnostics capabilities by acquiring its long-term partner, TIB Molbiol. The procurement will expand its PCR-test portfolio capabilities in the ongoing fight against existing and emerging infectious diseases, including new COVID-19 variants of interest. 

Germany-based TIB Molbiol Group develops ultra-rapid assays aimed at infectious diseases. The acquisition will enable Roche to expand its own diagnostic portfolio. 

TIB’s diagnostics portfolio includes more than 45 CE-IVD assays and more than 100 research use assays that are already available for use through Roche`s LightCycler PCR instruments and MagNA Pure sample preparation systems.

TIB Molbiol provides custom made LightSNiP assays for SNP analysis. While most of the company’s work has been in the infectious disease arena, TIB Molbiol has also developed a portfolio of diagnostic assays for inherited genetic diseases and somatic mutation testing, quantitative assays for hematology, and transplantation medicine.

Roche and TIB Molbiol have collaborated for more than two decades on diagnostics assays for various virulent pathogens, including SARS, anthrax, avian influenza virus H5N1, MERS, the novel influenza virus H1N1 swine, Ebola virus, Zika virus, and most recently, COVID-19. 

In its announcement, Roche touted the capabilities of its longtime partner. Roche said that in 2001 when anthrax was a biological threat concern following the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States and again in 2003 with the SARS-CoV1 outbreak, TIB Molbiol was able to develop PCR assays for the detection of new pathogens within days.

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Thomas Schinecker, chief executive officer of Roche Diagnostics, stated that the acquisition would allow the company to expand its offerings of tests for existing pathogens and be in a better position to respond to emerging pathogens and potential health threats.

“At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our collaboration provided the first research-use-only SARS-CoV-2 detection test that was provided in January 2020, only days after the new coronavirus was first sequenced. Together, we can further improve patient outcomes with innovative diagnostic solutions that alleviate healthcare costs,” Schinecker said in a statement. 

TIB Molbiol CEO Olfert Landt expressed his excitement about joining the Roche family. He said the two companies have a long history of working together. During that time, Roche and TIB Molbiol have spearheaded innovation in the molecular diagnostics industry as partners. They now look forward to continuing the work as a member of Roche Diagnostics

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. 


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