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Roche Files Suit Against DxS

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Roche has filed a lawsuit against Qiagen subsidiary DxS alleging that the firm is trying to terminate a distribution deal signed in 2008 for reasons that Roche believes are invalid.

The suit was filed yesterday in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. News agency Reuters first reported the lawsuit yesterday. Though GenomeWeb Daily News was unable to obtain a copy of the complaint, a Roche spokesperson confirmed that the suit has been filed.

In early June 2008, Roche announced that it had inked the deal to distribute two cancer mutation tests for the UK molecular diagnostics firm. The two tests are the TheraScreen K-RAS Mutation Test and the TheraScreen EGFR 29 Mutation Test. The agreement gave Roche exclusive distribution rights in all global markets except the US, Canada, Mexico, and Hong Kong.

Roche said that DxS is claiming that it has not fulfilled its obligation to assist DxS in developing software, though Roche said that there is no such obligation in the agreement.

"Roche is confident it is not in breach of its distribution agreement and intends to enforce its rights to exclusive, worldwide distribution of K-RAS and EGFR products for in-vitro diagnostic use, and for research use only in Japan," a Roche spokesperson said in a statement sent to GWDN.

DxS was an independent company at the time the agreement was signed. However, the firm was acquired by Qiagen, a competitor to Roche in the molecular diagnostics field, in September 2009.

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