Last week saw the first real M&A activtiy of the year from the pharmaceutical industry. In a couple of days, hidden among the rash of earnings releases, Roche made a hostile bid for gene-sequencing technology company, illumina. The bid of $5.7bn was made by the drug maker after the company refused to enter into ‘constuctive dialogue’ with the Roche management. illumina, a competitor with Life Technologies and with the Roche’s diagnostics arm, is a market leader in the high-potential sector of gene sequencing. This strategic acquisition would bring the San Diego company under the Roche umbrella and add genetic sequencing and microarrays to Roche’s suite of personalised medicine approaches. These capabilties are important in bringing highly targeted medicines to market, as proven by their recent FDA regulatory approval for vismodegib in oncology.