Basel, 11 October 2010
Roche and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) enter research agreement to predict cervical cancer
Collaboration is based on recent DKFZ discovery suggesting cervical cancer risk may be more precisely determined
Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) announced today that they have entered into a research collaboration to enable more specific prediction of a woman’s risk for developing cervical cancer.
The collaboration is based on recent DKFZ research indicating that the relative amounts of specific spliced viral RNA molecules (i.e., RNA markers) in HPV-infected cells enable highly accurate discrimination of cervical cancer and high-grade (pre-cancer) from low-grade cervical lesions.
RMD and DKFZ initiated the three-year collaboration in September 2010. DKFZ is conducting research on Roche proprietary platforms, facilitating direct transition and application of any relevant findings to the Roche diagnostics product line.
“DKFZ is among the world’s leading HPV research institutes. Through this collaboration, we have the opportunity to work with them to further improve screening and diagnosis of cervical cancer,” said Paul Brown, Ph.D., president and CEO of Roche Molecular Diagnostics. “Our hope is that this will ultimately lead to the development of a new test to make cervical cancer screening, diagnosis and grading even more accurate and specific.”
“From our previous laboratory results on HPV RNA patterns we believe that our test system will specifically and reliably detect women at high risk for cervical cancer. With Roche we have the great opportunity to work with a strong and experienced development partner for translating our laboratory results into a valid diagnostic product from which women will benefit.,” said Professor Lutz Gissmann.
“The ATHENA U.S. registration trial demonstrated clearly the sensitivity and diagnostic value that HPV DNA testing provides as compared to cytologic examination with a Pap test,” said Brown. “As a company, Roche is committed to continuing this type of groundbreaking HPV research to improve diagnosis of cervical cancer and save women’s lives. The type of innovative HPV research ongoing at DKFZ is completely aligned with our mission.”
About the cobas® 4800 HPV Test and cobas® 4800 System
The Roche cobas® 4800 HPV Test is the only HPV test under investigation in the United States that simultaneously detects 12 high-risk HPV types (HPV types 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66 and 68) as a pooled result, as well as HPV genotypes 16 and 18 individually.
Roche launched the cobas® 4800 HPV Test with CE Mark in 2009. The test is not currently available in the United States.
About Human Papillomavirus and Cervical Cancer
Persistent infection with human papillomavirus is the principal cause of cervical cancer in women, with HPV implicated in greater than 99% of cervical cancers worldwide. Of the more than 118 different types of HPV, 13-16 types are currently considered high-risk for the development of cervical cancer and its precursor lesions. HPV types 16 and 18 have been identified as the highest risk genotypes, detected in approximately 70 percent of cervical cancers. Nucleic acid (DNA) testing is a sensitive and non-invasive method for determining the presence of a cervical HPV infection.
The German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) is the largest biomedical research institute in Germany and is a member of the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centers. More than 2,200 staff members, including 1000 scientists, are investigating the mechanisms of cancer and are working to identify cancer risk factors. They provide the foundations for developing novel approaches in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. In addition, the staff of the Cancer Information Service (KID) offers information about the widespread disease of cancer for patients, their families, and the general public. The Center is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (90%) and the State of Baden-Württemberg (10%).
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2009, Roche had over 80,000 employees worldwide and invested almost 10 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 49.1 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information: www.roche.com
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