Clinical OMICS

MAR-APR 2018

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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Page 48 of 51 March/April 2018 Clinical OMICs 47 Flatiron Health, a healthcare technology and services com- pany that supports cancer care providers and life science companies, will be acquired by Roche for $1.9 billion under a deal designed to expand the buyer 's presence in precision medicine and oncology. Flatiron Health has developed the OncologyCloud soft- ware suite, whose components include OncoAnalytics for deep clinical and business insights, OncoEMR for electronic medical record and workflow software, OncoBilling for claims filing, and SeeYourChart for sharing laboratory tests and other data directly with patients. The OncologyCloud plat- form infrastructure is designed to organize, track, and ana- lyze data from cancer patients regardless of whether they are enrolled in clinical trials or not. "Our goal is to learn from every patient's experience— not just those in clinical trials," Zach Weinberg, co-founder, president and COO of Flatiron Health, said last year. A c c o rd i n g t o F l a t i ro n Health, the platform captures data from more than 2 million unique active cancer patients annually across all tumor types, while all but one of the top 15 life sciences companies focused on oncology use Flatiron data for research. Those companies include Bristol-Myers Squibb, Roche, and Merck. Vineeta Agarwala, M.D., Ph.D., director of product man- agement with Flatiron Health, told Clinical OMICs in 2016 that the database could help address a key challenge in pre- cision oncology: No more than 5% of cancer patients enroll in clinical trials, the Institute of Medicine (now National Academy of Medicine) reported in 2010, citing estimates from past research. More recent reports have quoted figures of 3% or 4%. "What this effort is trying to do is say: lets rescue that 96% of patients who aren't able to contribute to research today, and learn something from their trajectory and their experi- ence," Agarwala said. "By coming together with Roche, Flatiron will have an accelerated ability to achieve our mission while continuing to operate independently with access to greater resources," Flatiron Health co-founder and CEO Nat Turner wrote yesterday on the company's blog, in a post announcing the planned Roche acquisition. "We have a clear mandate and structure to continue to operate industry-wide with all stakeholders and customers as we build a learning health- care platform for oncology. Importantly, this does not change our strategic objectives and our priorities; it only helps us get to the finish line faster." Roche, which already holds a 12.6% stake in Flatiron via a January 2016 Series C invest- ment has been actively build- ing the company's precision medicine capabilities in the past year via a partnership with GE Healthcare and the November acquisition of cloud-based lab analytics firm Viewics. Regarding the planned deal for Flatiron, Daniel O'Day, Roche CEO said "This is an important step in our person- alized healthcare strategy for Roche, as we believe that regulatory-grade real-world evidence is a key ingredient to accelerate the development of, and access to, new cancer treatments." Oncology is one of Roche's key therapeutic areas. The pharma giant's top-four selling drugs in 2017, which gener- ated a combined more than $25 billion in sales, are indicated entirely or in part to treat various cancers. Rituxan (also sold as MabThera, rituximab) topped the list with sales of CHF 7.388 billion ($7.980 billion), followed by Herceptin (tras- tuzumab) with CHF 7.014 billion ($7.576 billion); Avastin (bevacizumab) with CHF 6.688 billion ($7.225 billion); and Perjeta (pertuzumab) with CHF 2.196 billion ($2.372 billion). —Alex Philippidis Precision Oncology-Focused Roche to Acquire Flatiron Health for $1.9B mathisworks / Getty Images

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