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Invitae, ArcherDx Ink $1.4B Merger to Advance Precision Oncology Offerings

NEW YORK – Invitae and ArcherDx announced Monday morning that the two genetic testing companies have agreed to merge in order to expand their footprint in the cancer genetics and precision oncology space.

Invitae said that it would acquire privately held ArcherDx through a combination of 30 million shares of its common stock and $325 million in cash, plus an additional 27 million shares of common stock if certain milestones are achieved. The overall transaction is valued at approximately $1.4 billion.

Invitae is already a leader in genetic testing for assessing hereditary cancer risk. By combining with ArcherDx, Invitae will be able to add to its suite of services tumor profiling and liquid biopsy technologies for predicting and monitoring therapeutic response. "From the beginning, Invitae's goal has been to aggregate the world's genetic tests into a single platform in service of our mission to bring comprehensive genetic information into mainstream medicine," Invitae CEO Sean George said in a statement.

ArcherDx markets Stratafide, a pan-cancer test that can identify actionable genomic alterations from tissue and blood samples. The company also has a Personalized Cancer Monitoring product that can be used to assess how cancer patients are doing on treatment and pick up early signs of disease recurrence. 

In a statement ArcherDx CEO Jason Myers said that his company's products can help bring precision oncology into regional and community settings, where the majority of cancer patients receive care, and address an estimated $45 billion market opportunity.

Invitae said in its statement that the combined firm is "ideally positioned to serve customers across the continuum, from individuals and community clinicians to biopharmaceutical partners, distribution partners, reference laboratories and academic centers."

Invitae has arranged to receive $400 million in financing to help pay for the acquisition, led by Perceptive Advisors. The company plans to sell $275 million in common stock in a private placement at a price of $16.85 per share. The private placement is supported by Invitae and ArcherDx's existing investors, including Casdin Capital, Deerfield Management, Driehaus Capital Management, Farallon, PBM Capital, Perceptive Advisors, Redmile Group, Rock Springs Capital, Soleus Capital, and another unnamed institutional investor.

Invitae has also entered into a credit facility for up to $200 million with Perceptive Credit Opportunities Funds.

Since the filing of its last quarterly report on March 31, Invitae has sold 2.6 million shares of common stock and raised $46 million in gross proceeds at an average price of $17.59 per share through an at-the-market facility. When the merger with ArcherDx closes, Invitae expects to have $425 million in cash with an annualized cash burn rate of around $130 million.

In Monday morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of Invitae were up around 21 percent at $22.68.