Roche Dissolves Applied Science Unit as It Ends IBM Alliance

Roche Holding AG (ROG) will dissolve its Applied Science unit as it sees further price pressure and funding cuts in life-science research and said it’s ended an alliance with International Business Machines Corp. (IBM)

The Swiss drugmaker said its polymerase chain reaction technology and nucleic acid product lines business will become part of its Molecular Diagnostics unit. The custom biotechnology portfolio will join the Professional Diagnostics business, while the company will create a unit to focus solely on sequencing, the Basel-based drugmaker said in a statement today.

The reorganization will affect 110 jobs in Penzberg, Germany and 60 in Branford, Connecticut, Roche said.

Roche and IBM agreed in July 2010 to try to make genome sequencing for medical purposes cheaper and more common. The drugmaker said today it had ended its partnership with IBM for the development of a nanopore-based sequencing platform, due to high technical risks involved.

Roche said its outlook for 2013 remains unchanged.

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Mulier in Geneva at tmulier@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Risser at drisser@bloomberg.net

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