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Roche wins licences for blood screening technology

Headquarters of Basel-based Roche Keystone

The Basel-based healthcare group Roche has expanded a licencing agreement with Chiron of the United States, giving Roche long-term licences for technology used in blood screening products for hepatitis C (HCV) and HIV type one (HIV-1).

This content was published on May 23, 2001 - 10:35

The worldwide, semi-exclusive licence allows Roche to research, develop, manufacture and sell HCV and HIV-1 nucleic acid probe products for its tests used in screening donated blood and plasma for transfusion or manufacturing of plasma components.

Prior to this agreement, Roche provided its nucleic acid testing (NAT) products for HCV and HIV-1 to blood and plasma centres under a temporary licencing agreement with Chiron signed in October 2000.

Roche said in a statement that it has developed polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based tests to determine the actual presence of HCV and HIV-1 viruses in donated blood and plasma samples.

Roche is the world's largest supplier of clinical diagnostics products, and has a strong international presence in the area of blood and plasma screening.

"We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Chiron for the use of these two important virus sequences," said the head of Roche's global diagnostics division Heino von Prondzynski.

"Clearly, the safety of the world's blood supply is one of the highest priorities in health care today... The finalisation of a long-term agreement with Chiron for the HCV and HIV-1 patent rights will make it possible for Roche to continue offering these important resources."

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