What happened

Shares of GenMark Diagnostics (GNMK) surged 29.6% on Monday after the molecular testing company said it has agreed to a merger with Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche Holding (RHHBY 1.57%)

So what

Roche will conduct a tender offer to acquire all of GenMark's outstanding stock for $24.05 per share, a roughly 43% premium to the price at which its shares were trading before rumors of the merger emerged back in February. The all-cash deal values GenMark at roughly $1.8 billion. It's expected to close in the second quarter.

Two people are shaking hands.

GenMark and Roche agreed to a merger on Monday. Image source: Getty Images.

GenMark's diagnostic tests are designed to detect multiple pathogens from a single patient sample. Its ePlex system helps to make laboratories more efficient via streamlined workflows, and its fast test results can help clinicians rapidly determine the causes of their patients' infections.

"Acquiring GenMark Diagnostics will broaden our molecular diagnostics portfolio to include solutions that can provide lifesaving information quickly to patients and their healthcare providers in the fight against infectious diseases," Roche CEO Thomas Schinecker said in a press release.

Now what

Roche will use its global distribution network to accelerate the rollout of GenMark's products. In the process, it intends to increase GenMark's share of a molecular testing market that could grow to $2 billion by 2024, according to Schinecker. And by providing doctors with better tools to combat infectious diseases, the combined company could help to save countless lives.

"Together with Roche's diagnostics healthcare solutions, we will be able to provide a full suite of molecular diagnostic solutions to customers around the world," GenMark CEO Scott Mendel said.