Pharma giant Roche is set to acquire oncology EHR software firm Flatiron Health in the first half of 2018, the companies announced today in a statement. Roche will pay an additional $1.9 billion over the millions it had already invested into the company in 2016, and as a result of the deal will control all shares of Flatiron Health.
“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,” Roche Pharmaceuticals CEO Daniel O’Day said in the 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. A key principle of this is to preserve Flatiron’s autonomy and their ability to continue providing their services to all existing and future partners.”
New York-based Flatiron Health was founded in 2012 by former Google employees Nat Turner, CEO, and Zach Weinberg, president and COO, both of whom told the New York Times in 2016 that they planned to take the company public in two or three years. At that time the company — which had also enjoyed major investments from Alphabet’s GV — was valued at $1.2 billion.
Flatiron Health offers an oncology-specific EHR platform employed by both community oncology practices and academic medical centers within the US. In addition, the company has also developed a suite of software products that employ real-world data from these records to uncover cancer research and care insights.
“Roche has been a tremendous partner to us over the past two years and shares our vision for building a learning healthcare platform in oncology ultimately designed to improve the lives of cancer patients,” Flatiron Health cofounder and CEO Nat Turner said in a statement. “This important milestone will allow us to increase our investments in our provider-facing technology and services platform, as well as our evidence-generation platform, which will remain available to the entire healthcare industry.”
The companies noted in the announcement — and confirmed to CNBC — that Flatiron Health will continue its current business model and other operations as a separate legal entity.