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Roche, Merck Partner on Cancer Therapy Diagnostics

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Merck and Roche today announced a collaboration for the development and use of diagnostic assays for Merck's portfolio of investigational cancer therapies.

The deal covers various technologies, including arrays and immunohistochemical technologies. Roche Diagnostics will supply validated and standardized assays to Merck for use in its clinical oncology programs. Merck also will expand its use of Roche's investigational AmpliChip p53 assay in its clinical programs to stratify and identify patients who may be candidates for ongoing or planned trials, the two companies said.

Roche Molecular Systems granted Merck subsidiary Merck Sharpe & Dohme access to its AmpliChip p53 Test last year.

Financial and other details of today's deal were not disclosed.

"Effective use of companion diagnostics is an important component of our oncology developments strategy focused on targeted therapies," Gary Gilliland, senior vice president and head of oncology research at Merck, said in a statement. "This collaboration provides Merck with access to diverse developmental and commercial diagnostic technologies that will facilitate the identification and monitoring of those patients most likely to respond to our investigational cancer therapies."

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