In April GEN reported that Roche was dissolving its Applied Science business area. The essence of the move was that a major part of the Applied Science portfolio was to be integrated within Roche’s other Diagnostics business areas. The goal was to streamline decision-making and to enhance technology flow from research use to the clinical setting, according to Roche.

“After thoroughly reviewing the activities of our Applied Science business area, we concluded that reorganizing our life-science business will allow us to fully leverage the synergies these products have with our existing clinical diagnostic portfolio,” said Dan Zabrowski, head, Roche Applied Science. “Roche is fully committed to the life science business, and we will continue to serve our customers with our existing life science portfolio. We are fully on track with our integration plans and will ensure a smooth and successful transition.”

He explained that two of three key product areas in Applied Science—polymerase chain reaction technology (PCR) and nucleic acid product lines (NAP), as well as Roche’s Custom Biotech portfolio—had overlaps with the division’s Molecular Diagnostics and Professional Diagnostics business areas. So Roche restructured these businesses as follows:

  • The PCR technology and NAP portfolios are now managed by Roche Molecular Diagnostics. The new lifecycle team, led by Anja Degen, includes real-time PCR and nucleic acid purification platforms and reagents, as well as nucleic acid-related biochemical reagents.
  • The Custom Biotech portfolio, which includes platforms and reagents that are more closely aligned with Roche’s clinical chemistry portfolio, have been moved to Roche Professional Diagnostics. The Custom Biotech business will be run by Andreas Schneider, formerly vp of life science alliances for Roche Diagnostics in Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.

“For our customers, we can now offer more integrated workflow technologies enabling them to establish very efficient processes in the field of biopharmaceutical manufacturing,” explained Schneider. “In addition, by closely linking Custom Biotech to Professional Diagnostics we will be able to realize growth opportunities particularly in the emerging markets.”

To promote the transition of DNA sequencing into clinical and routine diagnostics, Roche has established a new dedicated unit to focus solely on sequencing in addition to managing the existing sequencing business, which has been the third key product area of Applied Science. The new sequencing unit, led by Dan Zabrowski, is tasked with implementing a sequencing strategy from life science research to clinical diagnostics and explore internal and external opportunities that can provide customers with differentiated products.

“In the long run, we believe that sequencing will play a significant role in clinical diagnostics in addition to its current research applications,” explained Zabrowski. “With the sequencing unit we will be able to respond quickly to the rapidly evolving sequencing market in the mid- and long term.”

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