Swiss drugmaker Roche has acquired US-based molecular diagnostics testing service provider Ariosa Diagnostics, for an undisclosed sum.


According to Roche, Ariosa provides non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) service through their CLIA laboratory using cell-free DNA (cfDNA) technology.

Roche Diagnostics Division COO Roland Diggelmann said: "The acquisition of Ariosa is another example of Roche’s commitment to advanced molecular diagnostics.

"Circulating cfDNA has the promise of providing early diagnostic information through a simple blood test in many important segments including pregnancy, cancer and transplantation, aligning with our strategy in personalized healthcare and commitment to setting new standards of care."

Ariosa’s Harmony Prenatal Test is a blood test that can be performed as early as ten weeks into pregnancy, while the test is designed to assess the risk of Down syndrome and other genetic abnormalities, by evaluating fetal cfDNA found in maternal blood.

The test specifically evaluates the risk of trisomies 13, 18, and 21 that are indicative of an extra chromosome in the fetus, which can lead to severe genetic conditions.

Ariosa CEO Ken Song said: "We are thrilled to join forces with Roche to continue in our commitment to bringing forward high quality and affordable genetic testing that positively impacts the medical care of patients around the world."

The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Image: The administration and R&D buildings, Roche Diagnostics Ltd, Rotkreuz. Photo: courtesy of F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.