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Roche, Quest Pen Broad Diagnostics Development Deal

NEW YORK, Oct. 18 – Roche Diagnostics and Quest Diagnostics have penned a deal to jointly develop gene-based tests to predict a person’s likelihood of developing particular diseases and to evaluate the best course of treatment.

The companies said they would work together to commercialize gene-based markers to determine a person’s risk for stroke or asthma.

The current deal may expand on Roche’s previous collaborations with companies such as Affymetrix and DeCode Genetics, the companies said.

In a statement released Wednesday, the companies said that Roche Diagnostics of Indianapolis would provide its polymerase chain reaction technology while Quest of Teterboro, NJ, would offer its clinical expertise.

"Our clinical expertise combined with Roche Diagnostics' research capability will expand access to PCR technology for millions of patients and their physicians," Kenneth Freeman, CEO of Quest Diagnostics, said in a statement.

The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

In addition to developing new tests, Quest Diagnostics, which uses Roche’s PCR technology in its HIV tests, said it would now also standardize its tests for Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhea on Roche’s PCR platform. Quest said that these tests would be used across its 30 regional laboratories.

The companies will also consider developing assays for diseases including hepatitis C using Roche’s platforms.

"By combining our experience and resources, we expect to expedite the transition of genomic discoveries into effective diagnostic products,” Martin Madaus, CEO of Roche Diagnostics, said in a statement.

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