Roche seals two deals in one weekend

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Roche closed two deals over one weekend: buying a drug from Spain's Oryzon Genomics and scooping up the Massachusetts company IQuum.

As reported by Bloomberg, the $21-million Oryzon deal is for an experimental drug that prevents cancers from growing and gives Roche “its first drug in human testing in the field of epigenetics,” a strategy in which doctors try to alter gene expression without DNA modification. The treatment is for acute myeloid leukemia. Bloomberg says Oryzon could garner an additional $500 million in milestone payments.

Roche's IQuum deal brings the private company's Laboratory-in-a-Tube system (known as Liat) into Roche's portfolio in exchange for $275 million, with a possible $175 million in additional payments. Roche said in a statement that IQuum will become part of Roche's Diagnostics division. The system “allows healthcare professionals to perform rapid molecular diagnostic testing in a point of care setting, closer to patients and with minimal training,” the company said.

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