Roche to acquire Alphabet-backed oncology data firm Flatiron for $1.9B: 5 things to know

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche Holding AG inked a definitive agreement Feb. 15 to purchase Flatiron Health, an oncology-focused startup backed by Google's parent Alphabet.

Here are five things to know.

1. Roche already had a 12.6 percent stake in the healthcare startup. Under the agreement, Roche will acquire the remaining shares for $1.9 billion.

2. Flatiron Health, founded by two of Google's former employees, is a startup that provides physicians with oncology-specific EHR software. The company then analyzes the data it collects from its EHR to curate real world evidence to improve cancer treatments.

3. "This is an important step in our personalised healthcare strategy for Roche, as we believe that regulatory-grade real-world evidence is a key ingredient to accelerate the development of, and access to, new cancer treatments," said Daniel O'Day, CEO of Roche.

4. The startup had previously raised more than $300 million from investors, including Roche and Alphabet's venture arm GV.

5. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2018.

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