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Roche (RHHBY) (JOBS) and Axiogenesis Enter into Co-Development and Marketing Agreement


12/9/2008 6:33:14 AM

PENZBERG, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Roche and Axiogenesis AG, Cologne, Germany today announced that they have entered into an agreement for the development and distribution for Axiogenesis’ Cor.At® 100% pure cardiomyocytes platform as an integral part of the xCELLigence life cell analysis system. Under the terms of the agreement, RAS will market cell-systems, based on the technology of Axiogenesis Cor.At being customize for the xCELLigence platform.

The Roche xCELLigence System which is designed for a multitude of applications spanning from short term kinetic analysis, for example for measuring effects on G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), to assays for cell proliferation and cytotoxicity. The Cor.At® cells from Axiogenesis form an ideal couple to merge the latter qualities to the next level. The cells are not only quality-controlled, storable and available under GMP-conditions but resemble also a physiologically normal phenotype of either neonate or adult heart. This couple therefore enables research studies focussing on long term life behavior of cardiac cells in vitro.

Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.

“After completing our product portfolio in DNA/RNA analysis with 454 and NimbleGen, and the successful launch of the ACEA life cell and label free technology of the xCELLigence System the Axiogenesis cell portfolio will become an important partner to strengthen and further extend our product portfolio in defined organ specific cell analysis. We are convinced that Axiogensis Cell and Technology portfolio will lead to products for cell based assays to strengthen our new industrial standard for life science cell- analysis in the future,” commented Manfred Baier, Head of Roche Applied Science.

“It is an important milestone for the recognition of our technology to start a partnership with Roche, being one of the frontrunners in life science industry with substantial knowledge and credibility in the definition of new diagnostic concept and innovative drugs,” said Dr. Heribert Bohlen, founder and CEO of Axiogenesis. “So far, it remained serious demand of researchers to work with primary physiologically behaving cells that can be standardized, have unlimited availability and are 100% pure, which means fibroblast-free. The technology of Axiogenesis has made this wish come true. We look forward to working with Roche to greatly improve the users laboratory productivity and relevance in this important new area.”

Bohlen expects that the major advantages of the technology of the xCELLigence System over conventional approaches will benefit from the Axiogenesis cell portfolio. “The system detects any number of cellular parameters such as attachment, spreading, growth, death, and specific morphological changes, simply and reliably.“

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world’s leading research-focused healthcare groups in the fields of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. As the world’s biggest biotech company and an innovator of products and services for the early detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, the Group contributes on a broad range of fronts to improving people’s health and quality of life. Roche is the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics and drugs for cancer and transplantation, and is a market leader in virology. It is also active in other major therapeutic areas such as autoimmune diseases, inflammatory and metabolic disorders and diseases of the central nervous system. In 2007 sales by the Pharmaceuticals Division totalled 36.8 billion Swiss francs, and the Diagnostics Division posted sales of 9.3 billion francs. Roche has R&D agreements and strategic alliances with numerous partners, including majority ownership interests in Genentech and Chugai, and invested over 8 billion Swiss francs in R&D in 2007. Worldwide, the Group employs about 80,000 people. Additional information is available on the Internet at www.roche.com.

About Axiogenesis

Axiogenesis has pioneered the use of embryonic stem-cell derived tissues to be used in organ-specific drug-development assays. It was a major focus to define ES-derived cardiac, liver, endothelium, cartilage and neuronal cells. Up to know Axiogenesis has generated it’s product-line Cor.At® based on es-derived cardiomyocytes. The cells are available in unlimited amounts in an either frozen or fresh status, are quality controlled and their use has been shown for many different applications. Organ-specific cytotoxicity, GPCR-functionality, Patch-clamp behavior, multi-electrode array experiments or even the use in experimental transplantation systems describe the wide range of possible applications.

However, Axiogenesis is more than just the sum of all available ES-derived tissue cells. Axiogenesis has consequently designed a CM-Clinical Modeling platform that is applicable in drug development setting to perform a bottom-up strategy - which places the organ cell with a specific controllable disease phenotype at the beginning of the drug development strategy. However, the most important part of CM-Clinical Modeling will enable the user to answer that helps in the later clinical Phase II design, just by provide valuable stratification information.

Axiogenesis being founded in 2000 has been listed on the German stock market in December 2007 and resides in Cologne, Germany.

XCELLIGENCE is a trademark of Roche.

E-PLATE, and ACEA BIOSCIENCES are registered trademarks of ACEA Biosciences, Inc. in the US.

Contact:

Roche Diagnostics GmbH Dr. Burkhard Ziebolz Phone +49 (8856) 60 4830 Email: burkhard.ziebolz@roche.com

Source: Roche


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