One of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies has agreed to buy Flatiron Health, a health IT company founded by two former Google employees.
Switzerland-based Roche Group has agreed to pay $1.9 billion for the health IT company. The pharmaceutical and biotechnology company had already invested $200 million into Flatiron and owned 12.6% of the company.
We are excited to announce that @FlatironHealth is being acquired by @Roche. By coming together with Roche, Flatiron will have an accelerated ability to achieve our mission: improving lives by learning from the experience of every patient. https://t.co/eVnvrAuq3A— Flatiron Health (@flatironhealth) February 15, 2018
FlatIron, which created an EHR specifically for oncology providers, also made a name for itself by using its platform to collect data that could be used for cancer research. That was a big draw for Roche, which emphasized the ability to use data to support its efforts to advance personalized medicine.
Someone needs to explain Roche's latest purchase of Flatiron to me. How on earth can Flatiron comb databases to compare cancer pt outcomes & genetics to predict outcomes when my EHR can't talk from my hospital to my doctor in the same building?— Michelle Fay Cortez (@FayCortez) February 16, 2018
People should pay attention to the strategy--relentless curation of data--an army of "data janitors" transforming EHR data into analyzable, actionable information. Congrats to the Flatiron team--this was hard work paying off--not slogans and glitzl. @DukeForge https://t.co/YGAi0Al2CU— Robert M Califf (@califf001) February 16, 2018
“We believe that regulatory-grade real-world evidence is a key ingredient to accelerate the development of, and access to, new cancer treatments,” Roche CEO Daniel O’Day said in a release. “As a leading technology company in oncology, Flatiron Health is best positioned to provide the technology and data analytics infrastructure needed not only for Roche, but for oncology research and development efforts across the entire industry.”
Flatiron was founded in 2012 by ex-Google employees Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg. Turner, who was featured on Forbes' “30 under 30” in 2015, will remain the company’s CEO. He told CNBC that the company will be an independent organization under the Roche umbrella.
The deal is expected to close by the end of the second quarter.