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Roche buys superbug diagnostics firm for up to $425 million

Staff writer |
Roche is buying U.S. diagnostics firm GeneWEAVE BioSciences for up to $425 million. Roche will pay shareholders in the privately held Californian company $190 million upfront and up to a further $235 million depending on the future success of its products.

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The deal gives Roche access to GeneWEAVE's "Smarticles" technology, which allows for the rapid identification of multi drug-resistant organisms direct from clinical samples, without the need for traditional preparation processes.

Better testing is seen as central to fighting drug-resistant bacteria. It should allow doctors to make faster and more accurate diagnoses and give patients the appropriate drug to kill their particular infection.

Many antibiotics used today are broad spectrum products, which can kill a wide range of bugs but are also responsible for breeding resistance because they damage gut flora, creating an environment for new infections to flourish.

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