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Eurogentec Licenses PCR Know-How, Kits to BD for Molecular Dx Development

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Belgium's Eurogentec said last week that it has signed two separate agreements with BD Diagnostics covering PCR technology for use in molecular diagnostic development.

Eurogentec first signed a technology-transfer and license agreement with the diagnostics segment of Becton Dickinson covering proprietary diagnostic manufacturing technology.

The Liège-based company also signed a multi-year supply agreement with BD covering molecular diagnostic kit components.

The tech-transfer and license agreement pertains to Eurogentec's processes for manufacturing diagnostic oligonucleotides and PCR enzymes, Peter Haima, director of global IVD services at Eurogentec, told PCR Insider.

He noted that the company manufactures IVD oligos under good manufacturing practice-compliant conditions and that the company's facilities have been certified under ISO 13485, the International Standardization Organization's standard for medical device manufacturing. Meantime, Eurogentec's biopharmaceuticals facility in Liège produces the company's line of Diamond Taq polymerases under GMP-compliant conditions.

The Diamond Taq polymerase is a thermostable enzyme produced from a recombinant strain of E. coli that lacks the Taq restriction endonuclease. The company claims that the Diamond Taq enzymes are 98 percent pure and can amplify DNA templates at very low concentrations with very high reproducibility, making them ideal for molecular diagnostic applications.

Haima said that Eurogentec usually signs supply agreements for its oligos and enzymes, but tends to sign tech-transfer and licensing deals with larger diagnostic firms like BD who prefer to produce their molecular diagnostic kits in house and "buy the know-how from us."

He added that Eurogentec sells its qPCR enzymes for research use only, so firms looking to use them in molecular diagnostics need to secure the IP rights to diagnostic applications separately. In these cases, it is easier for diagnostic firms to license the technology and perform all the manufacturing internally, he said.

Under the terms of the multi-year supply agreement with BD, Eurogentec will provide its diagnostic manufacturing technology and provide technical assistance to BD, who will use the technology to develop molecular diagnostics.

In a statement, Philippe Jacon, president of diagnostic systems at BD Diagnostics, said that the company is "committed to developing assays and platforms that improve the detection and management of infectious diseases and cancer.”

A spokesperson for BD declined to provide further details on the arrangement at this time. Financial terms of the agreement also have not been disclosed.

In June, Eurogentec announced that Osaka, Japan-based chemical company Kaneka had agreed to acquire a majority stake in Eurogentec. As a result of the agreement, Eurogentec said it would become the genomics, proteomics, and biologics arm for Kaneka in Japan, Belgium and the US.

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