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DeCode and Roche Sign 5-Year Diagnostics Development Deal

NEW YORK, March 6 – DeCode and Roche Diagnostics have signed on to a five-year alliance to jointly develop DNA-based diagnostic tools using DeCode’s genomics research and informatics technology, the companies said Tuesday.

Under the agreement, Roche, of Basel, Switzerland, will provide research funding and milestone payments to DeCode, and will share product royalties with the Reykjavik, Iceland-based genomics company. The parties did not disclose further financial details of the agreement, but said they will begin work on the diagnostics immediately.

"It is very exciting to be able to bring together our gene research and bioinformatics know-how for the development of the next generation in diagnostic tools and decision-support systems,” said Kari Stefansson, CEO of DeCode, in a statement. “We will also be working with a trusted partner and the world leader in the field of diagnostics." 

This alliance follows the four-year collaboration DeCode established with Roche in 1998 to discover novel disease-related genes. Under this alliance DeCode has provided Roche with gene targets related to Alzheimer’s disease, arterial disease of the arms and legs, osteoporosis, pre-eclampsia, schizophrenia, and stroke. Roche has used these gene targets in developing new medications.

In November, DeCode launched two subsidiaries, DeCode Cancer for developing cancer diagnostic and therapeutic products; and EnCode for pharmacogenomic studies.

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