Pharmaceutical giant Roche will buy New York City-based Flatiron Health. The Swiss company will pay $1.9 billion for Flatiron, adding to its existing stake of 12.6 percent in the startup. That makes the whole shebang worth about $2.1 billion.

Officials expect the deal to close in the first half of this year.

Flatiron Health was founded in 2012 by Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg, two young entrepreneurs who sold their ad-tech company, Invite Media, to Google in 2010.

Its technology is geared toward the oncology community, and it has developed an EMR for cancer clinics. The startup’s model revolves largely around its OncologyCloud suite, which includes various components: OncoEMR, OncoBilling, OncoAnalytics and OncoTrials.

Roche has previously signaled its interest in the company. In early 2016, Flatiron announced a Roche-led $175 million Series C fundraising round. Allen & Company, Baillie Gifford and Casdin Capital also participated.

“What Roche has seen is Flatiron has developed a true expertise in analyzing data, specifically real-world oncology evidence, and fundamentally accelerating cancer care,” Dr. Bobby Green, Flatiron’s senior vice president of clinical oncology, said in a phone interview. “I don’t think this would have happened without [Roche] being up close and seeing what we’re doing.”

Green noted that Roche “shares the vision of the importance of [Flatiron’s] network and electronic health record.” Both companies are dedicated to moving the needle on and improving cancer care, he added.

This isn’t the first health IT company Roche has acquired. Last year, it bought mySugr, an Austrian digital health business whose self-stated goal is “to make diabetes suck less.”

As for Flatiron, its funding has also come entities aside from Roche, including an $8 million Series A round led by Google Ventures, First Round Capital and LabCorp. Google Ventures also spearheaded a $130 million Series B round just two years later.

Jenny Edelston, Flatiron’s senior manager of corporate communications, said the startup will operate as an independent subsidiary of Roche. Its leadership will remain in place and its products will stay the same.


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Larry Storer

Larry Storer

Larry Storer has been editor of Vein Therapy News for 10 years. He has edited computer, shelter and medical publications at Publications & Communications LP for 30 years. He was also a corporate vice president and editorial director before retiring. Larry graduated from Baylor University with a BA in journalism and an MA in communications; and from Lamar University with a MED in school administration. He taught beginning and advanced reporting, beginning and advanced editing and editorial writing at Baylor University. Larry was a reporter, and city and news editor of the Beaumont Journal, and opinion editor at the Beaumont Enterprise and Beaumont Enterprise-Journal. He was also the founding managing editor of the Yuba City (California) Daily Independent-Herald.