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Roche, Merck KGaA Expand PCR Distribution Agreement

This article has been updated from a previous version.

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Roche and the life sciences business of Merck KGaA have expanded a distribution agreement to include PCR and qPCR enzymes from Roche's Kapa Biosystems portfolio, the companies said today.

The life science business of Darmstadt, Germany-based Merck KGaA operates as MilliporeSigma in the US and Canada. The distribution agreement now covers all geographies with the exception of the US, Brazil, and Japan. It also does not include Kapa's next-generation sequencing products, which will continue to be made available through Roche. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

The PCR enzymes included in the expanded agreement have high tolerance to common PCR inhibitors, thereby increasing speed, specificity, and fidelity, Roche said in a statement.

"The alliance extension with Roche will offer our customers greater access to novel products via our world-class distribution channel," Udit Batra, a board member with Merck KGaA and CEO of MilliporeSigma, said in a statement. "These enzymes represent a significant advantage over commercially available DNA polymerases and thus offer the potential for entirely new PCR applications."

Roche acquired Kapa in 2015 for an undisclosed amount.