Roche Holding Ltd. (ADR) (OTCMKTS:RHHBY) (VTX:ROG) announced today that it had signed a contract to acquire medical diagnostic test manufacturer IQuum for a price of up to $450 million. The terms of the deal call for Massachusetts-based IQuum to receive $275 million up front from pharm industry titan Roche, and also receive up to another $175 million at a later date based on product milestones related to the success of IQuum products.

Roche Holding

Statements from the companies

“We are very excited to continue developing innovative molecular diagnostics solutions as part of the Roche Molecular Diagnostics team,” said Shuqi Chen, Ph.D., CEO and founder of IQuum, in a statement released earlier today, March 7th, by both companies. “Roche is the ideal company to deliver on the promise of our point of care molecular diagnostics technology. We are fully committed to the continued success of IQuum’s employees, products and pipeline.”

“Patients will benefit from on-the-spot and accurate diagnoses, which will allow health care professionals to make rapid, informed treatment decisions in flexible settings,” Roland Diggelmann, the CEO of Roche’s Diagnostics unit, explained in the statement. “We welcome IQuum’s employees, who will continue to focus on the development and manufacturing of the Liat™ Analyzer and assays,” he continued.

Roche diagnostics division growth

Roche Holding Ltd. (ADR) (OTCMKTS:RHHBY) (VTX:ROG) has been actively expanding its molecular diagnostic testing division for some years. They began their molecular diagnostic acquisitions with Igen International nearly a decade ago, followed up with Ventana Medical in 2011 and recently closed a deal for hematology test maker Constitution Medical Inc.

The Swiss pharmaceutical giant also tried to snap up genetics testing competitor Ilumina back in 2012, but Roche Holding Ltd. (VTX:ROG)’s $5.7 billion (44.50 a share) unsolicited offer was ultimately rejected by Illumina’s board of directors. Roche was also reportedly involved in talks with Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALXN) in 2014 that never came to fruition.

Roche Holding Ltd. (ADR) (OTCMKTS:RHHBY) (VTX:ROG) closed at $36.75 in Friday’s trading.