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Affy, Roche Amend GeneChip Deal; Roche Trades License Payments for Milestones

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Affymetrix and Roche have amended an ongoing licensing agreement that gives Roche access to Affy’s GeneChip microarray technology, Affymetrix said in an SEC filing last week.
 
The amendment, disclosed on Dec. 22, 2006, releases Roche from upcoming license payments and instead offers Affy payments based on commercial milestones. Roche had previously agreed to begin paying installments in 2008.
 
Additionally, the original agreement was to last as long as 18 years but the new version enables Roche to terminate it at the end of 2010 or at the end of 2015.
 
The companies originally penned their agreement in 2003 under which Roche agreed to pay Affy $70 million in up-front plus license payments for access to the GeneChip technology.
 
Roche uses the Affy technology in genotyping, gene expression, and resequencing research to develop molecular diagnostics. 
 
Affymetrix would not disclose the specific sums involved in the new deal, and filed a secure SEC copy containing that information.

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