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Gen-Probe, Roche Win Arbitration against Qiagen

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Gen-Probe said after the close of the market on Wednesday that an arbitration panel has ruled in favor of it and Roche against Qiagen regarding Gen-Probe's supply and purchase agreement with Roche for human papillomavirus products.

San Diego-based Gen-Probe said that a three-member arbitration panel from the International Centre for Dispute Resolution issued an interim award that dismisses all of Qiagen's claims. The firm said that it expects the award to remain unchanged, though it is subject to further proceedings related to its implementation.

Gen-Probe noted that it and Roche will request reimbursement for legal expenses.

The dispute stems from a supply and purchase deal signed between Gen-Probe and Roche in February 2005. Digene, which is now owned by Qiagen, filed the arbitration against Roche in December 2006, alleging that its sublicense to Gen-Probe was illegal. Digene's predecessor Life Technologies — not the currently named Life Technologies that resulted from the merger of Invitrogen and Applied Biosystems — and Roche predecessor Pasteur Institute had inked their cross-licensing deal in 1990.

Until recently, Digene and Qiagen had the only molecular test for HPV cleared for marketing in the US by the Food and Drug Administration. Hologic recently received the FDA's Ok for two genotyping tests for the disease.

Meanwhile, Gen-Probe launched its Aptima HPV Assay last year in Europe and is currently conducting studies on the test for a launch in the US. Last September, Gen-Probe CFO Herm Rosenman said at an investors' conference that the firm is targeting a 2011 launch in the US for the HPV assay.

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