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Roche Licenses Emulsion PCR Patents to Sysmex Inostics

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Roche said today that it has licensed its emulsion PCR patent portfolio to Sysmex Inostics.

Under the agreement, Sysmex Inostics receives a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-bearing license to Roche's patents covering emPCR, a technique in which individual DNA molecules are isolated in discrete water/oil emulsions including a capture bead and PCR amplification reagents.

Millions of such molecules can be prepared simultaneously, and each molecule is individually amplified to a single bead, creating the equivalent of millions of individual PCR reactions.

Sysmex Inostics uses the emulsion PCR technique as part of its BEAMing (beads, emulsion, amplification, and magnetics) digital PCR method. The company offers a clinical lab service that uses BEAMing to analyze free circulating tumor DNA in plasma to predict drug response and monitor cancer progression.

Japanese in vitro diagnostics firm Sysmex acquired Hamburg, Germany-based Inostics in September. Inostics, which also has a Baltimore, Md.-based subsidiary, was founded in 2008 by Indivumed and scientists from Johns Hopkins University, and originally commercialized the BEAMing technology, which was invented at JHU.

In October Sysmex Inostics said that it had inked a collaboration with Bayer Healthcare to develop blood-based companion diagnostics for targeted anti-cancer therapies being developed by Bayer.

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