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Roche Goes on Tech Shopping Spree for Startups to Boost Research

Feb. 16, 2018, 7:38 PM

For Roche Holding AG, collaborating with tech startups is no longer enough. Now it wants to own them.

The Swiss oncology giant bought three tech companies and joined forces with another in the past eight months as it seeks to take advantage of a flood of data from patients and clinical studies. The most recent deal, a $1.9 billion takeover of Flatiron Health Inc., gives it a platform to comb through medical records, gene sequences, and insurance claims to find out what cancer therapies work.

“Real-world data—and all the associated analytical tools, like machine learning—this is a field which will...

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