Roche Acquires Circulating Tumor DNA Company

By Bio-IT World Staff 

April 13, 2015 | Roche is at it again. The pharma today acquired CAPP Medical, a genomics research company founded by Stanford University oncologists and industry veterans, to advance the development of technology for cancer screening and monitoring through the detection of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in blood.

"Roche believes focused and high-quality next generation sequencing (NGS) assays using simple blood draws have the potential to significantly advance the time of cancer diagnosis and change routine cancer diagnostic monitoring and may be highly cost effective compared to today's current standard of using PET and CT imaging to monitor tumor progression," said Roland Diggelmann, COO Roche Diagnostics, in a statement. "CAPP Medical's technology for detecting the circulating cancer DNA from blood has the potential to further strengthen Roche's diagnostic offerings for patients and will provide valuable clinical trial support for Pharma oncology pipelines."

Financial details were not disclosed. 

Roche has been steadily adding genomics companies in the past months including Signature Diagnostics in February, Bina Technologies in December, and Genia Technologies last June.

CAPP Medical was founded in October 2013 out of Maximilian Diehn’s lab at Stanford*. The company is developing liquid non-invasive cancer detection technology using NGS that allows for sensitivity and specificity without the need for patient specific optimizations. At the core of CAPP Medical's technology is the assay design and the bioinformatics that allow for the detection of multiple mutations with a single assay.

*Maximilian Diehn will be speaking about Ultrasensitive Detection of Circulating Tumor DNA by Deep Sequencing at The Clinical Genome Conference in June 22-24 in San Francisco. 

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