Roche Diagnostics extends License for Universal ProbeLibrary (UPL) Kits from Exiqon A/S

(PresseBox) ( Mannheim, )
Roche Diagnostics and Exiqon A/S, Vedbæk, Denmark, a provider of high-value gene expression analysis products, today announced the signing of an amendment to their 2005 license and distribution agreement for the Universal ProbeLibrary (UPL) that is based on Exiqon's proprietary Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA™ ) Oligonucleotides. Under the terms of the agreement, Roche's exclusive rights to sell and distribute the ProbeLibrary products are extended on a co-exclusive basis. In addition, Roche obtains co-exclusive rights to use the UPL for the development and manufacturing of its new line of RealTime ready qPCR assays. With the RealTime ready assay line, Roche Applied Science will offer a fully customizable portfolio of validated target specific gene expression assays for quantitative PCR in single assay format and multiwell plate format, pre-plated in 96 and 384 well qPCR plates for the LightCycler® System.

"This agreement allows us to continue our successful business with the Universal ProbeLibrary products. We will address the current need for increased speed and flexibility in biomedical research providing customized on demand supply of single assays and ready to use qPCR panels for virtually every gene of the human genome and other important organisms. The Universal ProbeLibrary products supplement our broad existing portfolio of RealTime PCR products in the best possible way," comments Manfred Baier, Head of Roche Applied Science, a business area within Roche Diagnostics.

"This extension of our successful partnership with Roche allows the application of the technology of for Exiqon's LNA™ detection in the new and fast growing market for ready-to-use and customizable RealTime PCR products. We are exited to have Roche Diagnostics, who is a leader in the RealTime PCR market, embrace the technology of LNA™ detection in their new product offering," comments Lars Kongsbak, President and CEO of Exiqon.

About Exiqon
Exiqon is dedicated to personalizing the treatment selection for cancer patients. Exiqon's goal is to optimize the use of existing medicine and avoid unnecessary and non-effective treatment. The company aims to achieve this through improved diagnosis: by using diagnostic tests that analyses the genetic profile of each patient's tumor, they can help optimize the treatment selection for the individual patients. Exiqon is uniquely positioned to develop such new diagnostic tests, and possess the necessary technology. The technology is referred to as LNA™ . Using this technology, over a period of only four years Exiqon has been able to establish a position for itself as one of the market's leading providers of research products for gene expression analysis.
Exiqon's research products are used by university scientists and in the pharmaceutical industry around the world to make groundbreaking discoveries about the correlation between gene activity and the development of cancer and other disorders such as neurological disorders and metabolic diseases.
Exiqon currently is developing new molecular diagnostic products, and the first new product based on the LNA™ technology is scheduled for launched by the end of 2008. A number of new products will follow in the years ahead. Exiqon already has a significant market presence through its existing diagnostic product sales to hospitals in the USA. Through Oncotech, Exiqon markets diagnostic products that enable doctors to test whether their patients are resistant to one or more of the chemotherapies offered to treat these patients and helps them select an efficacious treatment. Oncotech is the market leader when it comes to selling such diagnostic tests based on an analysis of fresh tumor tissue. Exiqon plans to use Oncotech's leading market position to sell our new molecular diagnostic products based on the LNA™ technology.
Exiqon has more than 200 employees and is listed on the NASDAQ OMX in Copenhagen and categorised as a biotech company (Small Cap+).

PROBELIBRARY and LNA are registered trademarks of Exiqon A/S, Vedbaek, Denmark.
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