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Roche: buys US oncology diagnostics firm Ignyta

( - Roche said on Friday that it has reached a definitive agreement to buy the US cancer diagnostics firm Ignyta for 1.
7 billion dollars, hence strengthening its oncology portfolio.

The Swiss drugmaker plans to acquire Ignyta at a price of 27 dollars per share in an all-cash transaction, representing a premium of 74% relative to Ignyta's closing price last night.

San Diego-based Ignyta is focused on precision medicine aiming to test, identify, and treat patients with cancers harbouring specific rare mutations.

The deal gives Roche access to Ignyta's leading molecule, entrectinib, an orally bioavailable tyrosine kinase inhibitor which is currently in a pivotal phase 2 clinical trial.

"This is a perfect companion drug to Roche's ALK inhibitor Alecensa which proved very potent in ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer where it should become standard," analysts at Bryan Garnier commented in a research note sent earlier this morning.

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