BASEL—With a price tag of $272.5 million, Roche has expanded its share of the research genomics market with a definitive agreement to acquire NimbleGen Systems, a high-density microarray specialist based in Madison, Wisc. The portfolio is expected to complement Roche's LightCycler PCR technology, as well as its recently acquired 454 Life Sciences high-throughput sequencing platform.
In recent years, the global market for microarray technologies has hovered around $0.5 billion and has historically lagged behind other gene expression technologies because of issues around system interoperability and data inconsistency. The move from homebrew to commercial systems, however, as well as the focus by companies to deal with these problems, has improved the situation.
With its acquisition, NimbleGen will become a fully integrated part of Roche Applied Science and will continue to develop new technologies, while leveraging Roche's infrastructure for product development and marketing. Roche expects to retain NimbleGen's 140 employees and operations in Madison, Reykjavik, and Waldkraiburg, Germany. The deal is expected to close in Q3 2007.