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Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK), Roche (RHHBY) Pair Up on Tests for Cancer Treatments


6/7/2011 8:17:11 AM

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. & PLEASANTON, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Merck (NYSE:MRK), known outside the United States and Canada as MSD, and Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) today announced that they have entered into a collaboration focused on the application and development of diagnostic assays for use with Merck's investigational cancer therapy portfolio. Financial details were not disclosed.

“We are very pleased to showcase our leadership position in personalized healthcare by entering into this agreement with Merck. Roche hopes that, through our joint efforts, we will be able to provide companion diagnostic tests which lead to better solutions for patients worldwide.” said Paul Brown, Head of Roche Molecular Diagnostics.

The collaboration will apply various technologies such as array and immunohistochemical (IHC/ISH) technologies. Roche Diagnostics will provide validated, standardized assays for use in clinical oncology programs being conducted by Merck. Merck will also expand its use of Roche’s investigational AmpliChip p53 assay in its clinical programs to stratify and identify patients suitable for inclusion in ongoing/planned trial(s). As previously announced, Roche and Merck have a collaboration in which Merck can access Roche’s developmental microarray-based AmpliChip p53 Test.

"Effective use of companion diagnostics is an important component of our oncology development strategy focused on targeted therapies," said Gary Gilliland, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president and head of oncology research at Merck. "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."

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche’s personalized healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2010, Roche had over 80’000 employees worldwide and invested over 9 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 47.5 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information: www.roche.com.

About Merck

Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit www.merck.com.

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