Roche and Illumina partner to broaden patient access to genomic testing

RocheRoche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) has entered into a 15-year, non-exclusive partnership with Illumina to broaden the adoption of distributable next-generation sequencing (NGS) based testing in oncology. As the understanding of the genomic drivers of cancer evolves, NGS has the potential to transform cancer risk prediction, detection, diagnosis, treatment and monitoring.

This agreement brings together complementary capabilities of each company to broaden global adoption of NGS in cancer care. As part of the agreement, Illumina will grant Roche rights to develop and distribute in vitro diagnostic (IVD) tests on Illumina's NextSeq™ 550Dx System, as well as on its future portfolio of diagnostic (Dx) sequencing systems. Roche will in turn collaborate with Illumina to complement Illumina’s comprehensive pan-cancer assay TruSight Oncology 500 (TSO 500) with new companion diagnostic (CDx) claims. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Under the IVD terms of the agreement, Roche will develop, manufacture and commercialise AVENIO IVD tests for both tissue and blood for use on Illumina's NextSeq 550Dx System. Illumina will continue to sell the NextSeq 550Dx Systems and core sequencing consumables. Under the CDx terms of the agreement, Roche and Illumina will develop and pursue CDx claims on TSO 500 for both existing and pipeline Roche oncology targeted therapies on the NextSeq 550Dx System. Illumina will lead the development and regulatory approval process and will continue to manufacture, supply and commercialise TSO 500. Roche will support the development of the claims and regulatory filings.

"As a leader in diagnostic innovation that helps save and improve lives, Roche is pleased to enter into a collaboration agreement with Illumina to leverage our combined expertise in clinical oncology and next-generation sequencing," said Thomas Schinecker, CEO of Roche Diagnostics. "This collaboration is uniquely positioned to improve medical value and clinical decision making globally by combining the unique capabilities of the Roche Group including Foundation Medicine with Illumina and will provide more patients with access to NGS to characterise their disease and identify the right treatment for them. This builds upon our strategy of accelerating clinical research, streamlining workflows and expanding assay menus to broaden access to genomic data and lower barriers to routine use."

About Roche in Genomic Sequencing

With Roche Sequencing Solutions and Foundation Medicine, Roche is dedicated to a transformation in cancer care in which treatment is informed by a deep understanding of the genomic changes that contribute to each patient's unique cancer. Foundation Medicine offers a full suite of comprehensive genomic profiling assays to identify the molecular alterations in a patient's cancer and match them with relevant targeted therapies, immunotherapies and clinical trials. Roche Sequencing Solutions provide reagents and software needed for labs to determine the genomic characteristics of solid and liquid-based samples through a single DNA workflow. With the research-use-only and future IVD AVENIO family of Next Generation Sequencing oncology assays, Roche aims to make sequencing simple and accessible for everyday use.

About Roche

Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people's lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics under one roof have made Roche the leader in personalised healthcare - a strategy that aims to fit the right treatment to each patient in the best way possible.

Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management.

Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. The company also aims to improve patient access to medical innovations by working with all relevant stakeholders. More than thirty medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicines. Moreover, for the eleventh consecutive year, Roche has been recognised as one of the most sustainable companies in the Pharmaceuticals Industry by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI).

The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2018 employed about 94,000 people worldwide. In 2018, Roche invested CHF 11 billion in R&D and posted sales of CHF 56.8 billion. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan.

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