Roche, Basel Switzerland, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Kapa Biosystems Inc, Wilmington, Mass, a privately held provider of genomic tools for the life sciences sector. Kapa’s products employ proprietary technologies to optimize enzymes for next-generation sequencing (NGS), as well as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time PCR applications.


Roland Diggelmann, Roche Diagnostics.

Kapa’s proprietary protein engineering technology is highly customizable and allows for the generation and screening of large numbers of enzyme variants. Tailored enzymes with improved performance for specific applications can be rapidly selected, expediting product development timelines. Kapa`s portfolio of NGS reagents includes enzymes such as novel DNA polymerases with the potential to improve the performance of the entire sequencing workflow.

“This acquisition builds on Roche’s commitment to develop a differentiated NGS portfolio that will provide our customers with a complete genetic testing solution,” says Roland Diggelmann, COO of the Roche Diagnostics Division. “Kapa’s technology and products complement our current expertise and offerings such as the portfolio of target enrichment products for NGS. We welcome Kapa’s employees and are looking forward to strengthening our NGS offerings with this unique technology.”

Cofounded in 2006 by Trey Foskett, Paul McEwan, Ron McEwan, and Chris McGuinness, Kapa has pioneered the use of directed evolution to develop a suite of high-performance reagents for a range of life science applications. Current Kapa products are for research use only, and are not for use in diagnostic procedures. The company’s products are used by thousands of scientists around the world, and have been cited in more than 4,000 peer-reviewed publications.


Paul McEwan, Kapa Biosystems.

“Joining Roche provides us access to their broad product portfolio, global reach, and clinical expertise that will accelerate our strategy of offering comprehensive NGS workflow solutions to more laboratories around the world,” says Paul McEwan, Kapa cofounder and chief scientific officer. “We are also excited to have the opportunity to further leverage our enzyme engineering capabilities to advance the fields of genomics and sequencing, with the ultimate goal of having a more significant impact on medicine and human health.”

Kapa is continuing to develop innovative solutions that accelerate genomics research and the future ability to diagnose, monitor, and treat cancer and complex inherited and infectious diseases. In addition to its Massachusetts headquarters, Kapa has a research, development, and manufacturing facility in Cape Town, South Africa.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.