Roche acquires CMI, bolsters hematology strength

Roche has acquired Constitution Medical Investors for $220 million

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BASEL, Switzerland—Roche has announced the acquisition ofBoston-based Constitution Medical Investors, Inc. (CMI), a firm that has developed aninnovative hematology testing system designed to offer more rapid and accuratediagnosis of blood-related diseases. The organization was created in 2008 andfunded by the private equity firm Warburg Pincus as well as members of CMI'smanagement team.
Per the terms of the agreement, CMI shareholders willreceive a payment from Roche of $220 million up front, and will be eligible toreceive additional contingent payments if certain milestones are reached.Following the acquisition, CMI will serve as a center of excellence inhematology within Roche Diagnostics.
"With this acquisition, we will further strengthen our commitmentto hematology and drive towards integrated laboratory solutions with innovativeproducts which deliver medical value to our customers and patients. Patientswill benefit from faster and more accurate diagnosis of blood diseases such asanemia and leukemia," Roland Diggelmann, chief operational officer of RocheDiagnostics, said in a press release regarding the transaction. "We are happyto welcome CMI's employees, a very talented group of people with strongexpertise and domain knowledge in the field of hematology, to the Roche Group."
CMI's hematology testing system, the Bloodhound System, isan integrated instrument that features CMI's DigiMAC3 technology. TheBloodhound System includes a digital morphologic analyzer, a cell counter and aclassifier in one instrument that can even create and stain its own slides. Thissystem is compact for its type, and CMI notes that it "uses less reagents thanthe typical flow-based hematology analyzers found on the market today." TheDigiMAC technology analyzes individual cells' morphology and offerscell-by-cell images, providing a "CBC, 5-part differential and reticulocytecount," CMI notes on the product's website. The Bloodhound System's technologyis the focus for another system currently in development, which will be fullyautomated and will be able to replace several workstations for betterefficiency while requiring less space in the lab.
"We are very excited about the prospect of continuing oursuccessful development as part of the Roche Group and bringing our technologyto medical laboratories in the service of patients on a global scale," PatrickSullivan, chairman and CEO of CMI, commented in a statement.
The acquisition is expected to boost Roche's position in thelaboratory hematology testing business, which currently has an estimated globalmarket size of more than $2 billion as of 2011.
SOURCE: Roche press release

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