Roche’s chief executive is not ruling out a $3 billion buyout if it means the Swiss company can further catapult itself into the drug-diagnostic arena.

Severin Schwan told Bloomberg in an interview he would “seize” the opportunity to spend big “if something comes up” that was similar to the potentials represented by Roche’s $3.4 billion purchase of US diagnostics company Ventana Medical Systems in 2008.  

Schwan also said he was open to the possibility of mid-sized acquisitions in the range of 100 million to 300 million Swiss francs, or $106 million to $320 million.

“We see synergies between pharma and diagnostics coming to life,” he said.

The cancer drug giant wants to focus its efforts on tailored therapies where medicines and diagnostics are combined to show which patients will benefit most from the drugs. Already the company expects to introduce two drugs with companion diagnostics next year – pertuzumab for breast cancer and Zelboraf (vemurafenib) for malignant melanoma, which was granted a positive opinion from the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use earlier this week. 

Meanwhile, three of four of the company’s acquisitions in 2011 took place in order to grow the diagnostics unit, which brings in about a fifth of Roche’s sales.