Roche to Reorganize Sequencing Business

RocheMeasures aim to ensure sustained success in a fast-changing market environment

Roche today announced changes to the management and set-up of its life-science business. The Applied Science Business Area will be dissolved and its portfolio of products integrated within Roche’s other Diagnostics Business Areas.

Following assessment of its sequencing R&D portfolio, Roche has decided to:

  1. Return the ISFET project for the development of a semiconductor-based sequencing system to DNA Electronics. The project was a partnership with 454 Life Sciences.  Roche believes that it will be unable to disrupt the market with the product at launch.
  2. End its partnership with IBM for the development of a nanopore-based sequencing platform due to high technical risks involved.
  3. Establish a dedicated unit to focus solely on sequencing. This unit will be tasked with implementing a sequencing strategy from life-science research to clinical diagnostics, explore internal and external opportunities that can provide customers with differentiated products, and will also manage Roche’s existing sequencing business.

The price pressure and funding cuts in life-science research that have been features of the market environment for some time now are expected to continue. The organisational arrangements Roche is introducing are designed to further improve productivity and enhance the market responsiveness of its life-science business, which currently accounts for about 7 % of total Diagnostics sales.

As a consequence, the Applied Science business area will be dissolved as of the end of 2013.

Changes expected to affect approximately 110 positions in Penzberg (Germany) and 60 positions in Branford (Connecticut, USA), the home of its 454 Life Sciences business.

(read the entire press release…)