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Roche acquires CMI, bolsters hematology strength
by Kelsey Kaustinen  |  Email the author


BASEL, SwitzerlandóRoche has announced the acquisition of Boston-based Constitution Medical Investors, Inc. (CMI), a firm that has developed an innovative hematology testing system designed to offer more rapid and accurate diagnosis of blood-related diseases. The organization was created in 2008 and funded by the private equity firm Warburg Pincus as well as members of CMI's management team.
Per the terms of the agreement, CMI shareholders will receive a payment from Roche of $220 million up front, and will be eligible to receive additional contingent payments if certain milestones are reached. Following the acquisition, CMI will serve as a center of excellence in hematology within Roche Diagnostics.
"With this acquisition, we will further strengthen our commitment to hematology and drive towards integrated laboratory solutions with innovative products which deliver medical value to our customers and patients. Patients will benefit from faster and more accurate diagnosis of blood diseases such as anemia and leukemia," Roland Diggelmann, chief operational officer of Roche Diagnostics, said in a press release regarding the transaction. "We are happy to welcome CMI's employees, a very talented group of people with strong expertise and domain knowledge in the field of hematology, to the Roche Group."  
CMI's hematology testing system, the Bloodhound System, is an integrated instrument that features CMI's DigiMAC3 technology. The Bloodhound System includes a digital morphologic analyzer, a cell counter and a classifier in one instrument that can even create and stain its own slides. This system is compact for its type, and CMI notes that it "uses less reagents than the typical flow-based hematology analyzers found on the market today." The DigiMAC technology analyzes individual cells' morphology and offers cell-by-cell images, providing a "CBC, 5-part differential and reticulocyte count," CMI notes on the product's website. The Bloodhound System's technology is the focus for another system currently in development, which will be fully automated and will be able to replace several workstations for better efficiency while requiring less space in the lab.
"We are very excited about the prospect of continuing our successful development as part of the Roche Group and bringing our technology to medical laboratories in the service of patients on a global scale," Patrick Sullivan, chairman and CEO of CMI, commented in a statement.
The acquisition is expected to boost Roche's position in the laboratory hematology testing business, which currently has an estimated global market size of more than $2 billion as of 2011.        
SOURCE: Roche press release
Code: E07021301



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