Roche signs research pact with Merck

Roche Molecular Systems has signed a research collaboration deal with Merck Sharp & Dohme (Merck), a

Roche's investigational AmpliChip p53 Test is designed to detect damage to p53 DNA in tumour cells in order to identify which cells carry dysfunctional p53 proteins that can lead to treatment resistance.

By identifying cancers that harbour a dysfunctional p53 gene, the companies aim to achieve better treatment outcomes in cancer patients by determining which patients are most likely to respond to certain investigational therapeutic candidates.

Paul Brown, president and CEO, Roche Molecular Diagnostics, said: "Roche designed its investigational AmpliChip p53 Test to rapidly provide clinically important information that can be used early in pharmaceutical development to help predict cancer patient responses to certain therapeutic candidates. Roche is excited to enter into this collaboration with Merck because of the potential this test has to improve cancer patient response to treatment."

Eric Rubin, vice president of oncology at Merck Research Laboratories, said: "The goal of our research is to discover and develop innovative cancer therapeutics and deliver them to the right patients at the right time. By applying the AmpliChip p53 Test in selected clinical trials we hope to identify those patients most likely to respond to specific therapeutic regimens in development."