Merck KGaA | GenomeWeb

Merck KGaA

The agreement now includes distribution of Roche's Kapa Biosystems portfolio in all geographies except the US, Brazil, and Japan.

Evotec will use Merck's collection of genetic reagents — including viral CRISPR and shRNA libraries — in target discovery programs.

The companies will initially focus on developing a companion diagnostic for Merck's investigational B cell lymphoma drug M7583.

The test, which will be based on AmoyDx's proprietary real-time PCR technology, will identify cancer-associated mutations in the RAS gene family.

The firms will set up sites for OncoBEAM RAS CRC in Argentina, Brazil, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and India, and present data at major medical conferences.

The firms now plan to market the test in Europe, Asia, and Australia as a tool oncologists can use to identify best responders to EGFR inhibitors.

Sales for the firm's life science segment jumped 25 percent year over year to €3.36 billion from €2.68 billion.

The new test will be based on Biocartis' Idylla PCR-based diagnostics platform and will detect an extended panel of RAS mutations, plus BRAF V600 mutations.

After falling for three years in a row, mergers and acquisitions in the omics space rose sharply in 2015, driven by a few billion-dollar-plus deals.

The deal creates a science sector giant able to "cover every step of the biotech production chain."

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