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Roche to buy Alphabet-backed Flatiron Health for $1.9B

Roche Holding AG will pay $1.9 billion to acquire Flatiron Health, an Alphabet Inc.-backed healthcare technology and services company.

The Swiss pharmaceutical giant already owns 12.6% of New York-based Flatiron Health.

Sources familiar with the matter told CNBC that drug distributor McKesson Corp. was also interested in acquiring the startup, which is focused on accelerating cancer research and improving patient care.

Founded by former Google employees Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg, Flatiron has raised more than $300 million from investors, including Roche and Alphabet's venture arm, GV, formerly Google Ventures, the news outlet reported.

The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2018, and the startup will continue its operations as a separate legal entity afterward.