Pleasanton, CA, USA, 21 February 2014 – Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced today a licensing agreement with Sysmex Inostics GmbH for its emPCR portfolio of patents. Under the terms of the licensing agreement, Roche grants Sysmex Inostics GmbH a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-bearing license.
Through emulsion PCR (emPCR), each DNA molecule is individually isolated within its own bubble in a water/oil emulsion, which includes a capture bead and PCR amplification reagents. As a result, even though about a million molecules are prepared simultaneously, each molecule is individually amplified to one single bead, the equivalent of having a million separate PCR reactions. This technique allows for massive parallelization (high throughput) that results in a significant cost advantage over Sanger sequencing. Sysmex Inostics GmbH is primarily a clinical service lab providing analysis of free circulating tumor-DNA in plasma for prediction of drug response and for monitoring of cancer by quantifying the amount of tumor DNA to detect relapse and to detect resistance mutations, utilizing emPCR technology. Actual Sysmex Inostics GmbH customers are pharmaceutical companies and academic and medical centers who use Sysmex Inostics services in clinical trials in which tissue collection is a problem.
Dan Zabrowski, Head of Roche Sequencing Unit, said “Roche has an active out-licensing program for its emPCR-based intellectual property portfolio. By continuing to out-license this technology, we contribute to the development of well-validated techniques within the molecular diagnostics field.”