Ambry Genetics Acquired by Konica Minolta

The billion-dollar deal boosts precision medicine diagnostics.

Signing a definitive agreement on July 6, Konica Minolta announced its subsidiary’s plans to acquire Ambry Genetics Corp. The transaction, said Konica Minolta, will be partially funded by the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan with $800 million paid on closure. Additionally, another payment of $200 million will be distributed, said the announcement, based on financial metrics over an initial two-year period — bringing the total value of the acquisition to $1 billion.

Privately held, Ambry was founded in 1999 in the U.S. The company has performed more than a million genetic tests and identified over 45,000 mutations in some 500 different genes, since its inception. Ambry specializes in genetic testing solutions for inherited and non-inherited disease, as well as for a variety of clinical specialties ranging from neurology, cardiology, oncology, pulmonology and general genetics.

According to Konica Minolta, the Ambry acquisition is the first step in creating an “exciting new medical platform aimed at fulfilling the potential of precision medicine,” and an emerging approach using genetic and molecular analysis to match patients with the best treatment for an individual’s particular disease.

“This acquisition,” said Shoei Yamana, President and CEO of Konica Minolta, “is the first in a series of strategic initiatives to secure a leading position for Konica Minolta in precision medicine.” According to Yamana, the future of medicine is patient-focused. “Together with Ambry, we will have the most comprehensive set of diagnostic technologies for mapping an individual’s genetic and biochemical makeup, as well as the capabilities to translate that knowledge into information the medical community can use to discover, prevent, and cost-effectively treat diseases.”

Marking an important strategic shift for the company, Konica Minolta said the acquisition will advance precision medicine and leverage the company’s “long history” of innovation ranging from materials science, optics and imaging, and nanofabrication. The company said Ambry’s genetic testing capabilities combined with its advanced immunostaining technology High-Sensitivity Tissue Testing — which uses fluorescent nanoparticles to detect and quantify proteins that drive disease — will offer greater precision and accuracy, and “enable clinicians to analyze both tumor and normal tissue to diagnose hereditary cancer, while also providing guidance regarding drug eligibility and response.”

“As a part of Konica Minolta, we will have the resources, technology, and scale to advance biomedical research and enable the matching of more patients in more countries with specialized medicines that target the underlying cause of their illness,” said Charles Dunlop, President and Chairman of Ambry Genetics.