Roche Teams Up with Biocare

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Roche (RHHBY) recently announced that it has entered into a license agreement with Biocare Medical, LLC, through one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.

Ventana Medical manufactures instruments and reagents that automate tissue processing and slide staining for cancer diagnostics. As per the agreement, Biocare will access certain patents and materials related to p63 diagnostics in the research and IVD field.  

Concurrently, Biocare settled its dispute related to the p63 technology with privately-held AsymmetRx Medical, Inc. Hence, Biocare has gained a worldwide license to distribute p63 (4A4) mouse monoclonal primary antibody in both the research and IVD markets from Roche.

Meanwhile, AsymmetRx will terminate all patent infringement litigation. As per the Harvard Medical School patent filings, AsymmetRx currently holds the license for the use of P63 antibody, which primarily helps in the diagnosis of prostate and other cancers.

We note that the dispute started in Jun 2007 when AsymmetRx initiated litigation challenging Biocare’s intellectual property license for p63.

We remind investors that in Jun 2010, Roche signed a license agreement with AsymmetRx Medical, whereby Roche was granted the exclusive license and distribution rights of AsymmetRx’ patented p63 tool.

We are encouraged by the recent developments at Roche. Most importantly, the US Food and Drug Administration (:FDA) has approved Roche’s Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab emtansine or T-DM1) a few days back for the treatment of patients suffering from HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (mBC).

Roche has partnered with ImmunoGen, Inc (IMGN) for Kadcyla.

Roche carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Nevertheless, other large cap pharma stocks, such as Bayer (BAYRY) and Eli Lilly and Company (LLY) currently look attractive with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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