NEW YORK, June 7 Switzerland's Roche Holding AG
ROG.VX will help develop diagnostic tests for Merck & Co's
(MRK.N) portfolio of experimental cancer medicines under a
collaboration announced by the two drugmakers on Tuesday.
Under the collaboration, for which financial terms were not
disclosed, Roche Diagnostics will provide assays for use in
clinical oncology programs being conducted by Merck.
Merck will also expand use of Roche's AmpliChip p53 assay
to identify patients suitable for inclusion in trials.
"Effective use of companion diagnostics is an important
component of our oncology development strategy focused on
targeted therapies," Gary Gilliland, Merck's head of oncology
research, said in a statement.
The partnership -- announced as the American Society of
Clinical Oncology meeting winds down in Chicago -- deepens the
relationship between Merck and Roche, which recently announced
a co-promotion arrangement over hepatitis C medicines.
Roche also announced a partnership last week with
Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY.N) to evaluate their respective
cancer drugs as a potential combination therapy for metastatic
(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf, Editing by Maureen Bavdek)