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Swiss giant Roche buys Alphabet-backed Flatiron Health

Switzerland-based pharma giant Roche has agreed to acquire Flatiron Health for $2.1 billion.

Roche, a significant investor in Flatiron, will pay $1.9 billion to combine with its existing stake for the total deal value.

Flatiron is a startup which owns an electronic medical record system used by doctors in the field of oncology. It uses this data to determine more effective ways to treat cancer.

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

Flatiron Health was founded by Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg, both former Google employees. Alphabet’s venture arm GV holds a large stake in Flatiron, alongside Roche.

 

Flatiron founders Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg, former Google employees (Source: Flatiron)

 

This makes you wonder if Alphabet has truly lost a golden goose by giving away Flatiron.

In 2016, Flatiron had announced plans to go public in two to three years. That year, Roche led a $175-million deal in Flatiron valuing it at $1.2 billion. Roche had also agreed to buy several of Flatiron’s subscription-based software products, which would position the company for an IPO.

Flatiron CEO Nat Turner stated that Flatiron would remain an independent legal entity within the Roche group. The employees will continue as Flatiron employees.

Flatiron has raised more than $300 million from various investors in technology and healthcare.

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