Roche to Acquire GenMark, Ovation.io Raises $21.5M

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Roche to Pay $1.8 Billion for GenMark 

THERE’S MORE CONSOLIDATION in the in vitro diagnostics (IVD) industry. It was announced on Mar. 15 that Roche Diagnostics would acquire GenMark Diagnostics of Carlsbad, Calif., for a purchase price of $1.8 billion. 

With access to GenMark’s technology, which enables rapid testing of many pathogens from one sample, Roche will expand its capabilities in infectious disease testing, including respiratory and bloodstream infections. 

Barron’s wrote that “it’s a deal that makes sense, said a team of analysts at UBS [Union Bank of Switzerland], led by Michael Leuchten. ‘The acquisition adds testing menu (multiplex tests) and also broadens Roche’s reach into hospitals when at the moment the majority of its diagnostics business is focused on centralized labs.’” 

With the acquisition of Genmark, Roche sees an opportunity to “challenge rivals like France’s bioMérieux,” reported Reuters, which also said the merger may make it possible for Roche to expand its diagnostics services in hospitals and to departments beyond the core laboratory. 

Founded in 2010, GenMark developed the ePlex system, a proprietary eSensor detection technology that enables performance of molecular tests detecting multiple pathogens from one sample, BioSpace wrote. The tests run on a compact workstation using disposable test cartridges. 

“Acquiring GenMark Diagnostics will broaden our molecular diagnostics portfolio to include solutions that can provide life-saving information quickly to patients and their healthcare providers in the fight against infectious diseases,” said Thomas Schinecker, PhD, CEO, Roche Diagnostics, in a news release. 

LIMS Firm Ovation Gains Access to Capital 

One of the newest competitors offering a laboratory information management system (LIMS) just raised $21.5 million. The closing of the series B funding round was announced last December by Ovation.io co-founder and CEO Barry Wark, PhD. 

Established in 2017, Ovation.io has enjoyed rapid growth. Revenue doubled during 2020 as the growth of COVID-19 increased demand for its LIMS platform. 

“Ovation is entirely cloud-based. Being cloud-based enables us to deploy up to twelve times faster than legacy solutions and better support a rapidly changing diagnostic landscape,” Wark said. “The benefit to labs is that there is zero on-premise software or hardware that needs to be installed and maintained.” 

One of the five key funders called attention to Ovation.io’s focus on molecular genomics labs and precision medicine. “These labs need specialized software, and the real value is being able to stitch the data together to create a solution to go after targeted therapeutics,” said Chris Scoggins, Venture Partner, SignalFire, in Crunchbase News. 

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