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Janssen to Develop Assays on Biocartis MDx Platform

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Janssen Pharmaceutica, part of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Pharmaceutical division, will develop assays on the Biocartis molecular diagnostics system, Biocartis said today.

Under the agreement, Janssen and J&J's Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics group will have worldwide exclusive rights to develop and commercialize assays on the Biocartis platform in the fields of neurological disease and certain viral infectious diseases.

In the field of viral infectious disease, Biocartis and Janssen may co-develop and commercialize assays, while Biocartis will manufacture the instruments and the diagnostic assays, the company said.

Biocartis will receive upfront and milestone payments from Janssen Pharmaceutica as well as royalties on future sales. Further financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

J&J holds an equity stake in Biocartis as part of a €30 million ($50.5 million) Series B equity financing round that closed in April. Other investors in the round included the Debiopharm Group, Aescap, Biovest, Advent Venture Partners, several Biocartis employees, and Benaruca, the family investment vehicle of Biocartis' co-founder Rudi Pauwels.

The agreement follows a molecular diagnostics collaboration that Biocartis signed with BioMérieux in November that gave BioMérieux worldwide rights to develop and commercialize microbiology assays on the Biocartis platform. That agreement also gave BioMérieux access to the platform for certain oncology and theranostics assays.

Biocartis acquired its molecular diagnostics platform from Philips last February.

The company said that the system "fully integrates all the steps of a multiplexed molecular assay, from sample-in to data-out, in a sealed, single-use disposable cartridge, which avoids any contamination risk."

Biocartis, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, said that it expects to begin marketing the platform in 2012.

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