Roche Still Hungry for Sequencing Expansion After Failed Attempt to Buy Illumina, Inc.

Published: Oct 16, 2012

Roche Holding AG (ROG) still wants to expand in gene sequencing after this year’s failed effort to buy Illumina Inc. (ILMN) and is looking at potential deals, Chief Executive Officer Severin Schwan said. Illumina fell the most in a year yesterday as investors doubted Roche would renew its interest in buying the world’s biggest maker of DNA sequencing equipment. Illumina declined 6 percent to $48.07 at the close in New York, the biggest drop since Oct. 7, 2011. The San Diego-based company’s shares have gained 58 percent this year. “Sequencing is certainly one of the business areas we are looking to invest in,” Schwan said on a conference call with reporters today after Roche announced a 15 percent increase in third-quarter sales that beat analyst estimates. “We are looking for a variety of options to build this business both internally and externally.” He declined to comment on “market rumors” of a new Illumina bid. Buying Illumina would help Roche, the world’s largest maker of cancer medicines, better tailor drugs to patients. Machines made by Illumina can provide a full transcript of a person’s DNA, information used to diagnose rare disease, identify the risk for a genetic condition, or match cancer treatments to patients’ tumors.

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