Merck expands PCR distribution agreement with Roche

DARMSTADT, GERMANY: Merck said that it has expanded its distribution cooperation with Roche Holding AG to include the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) enzyme products of Kapa Biosystems, a company acquired by Roche in 2015.

The addition of the Kapa portfolio strengthens Merck’s existing distribution relationship with Roche by providing one of the most complementary suites of high-performance tools for PCR and qPCR available in the industry today.

Under the terms of the agreement, Merck will employ its sales, marketing and e-commerce expertise and leverage the strength of its relationships with the scientific community to present and distribute Kapa PCR and quantitative PCR reagents and kits. The distribution agreement includes all geographies except the US, Japan and Brazil.

Roche inked the global exclusive distribution agreement for its Biochemical Reagents portfolio with Sigma-Aldrich in July 2015. Following the acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich by Merck in the same year, this agreement became an important part of Merck, driving growth in its life science business and offering premier brand tools for genomics, proteomics and cell analysis.

The novel PCR enzymes offered under the expanded distribution agreement have improved tolerance to common PCR inhibitors, increased speed and specific activity, and higher fidelity. These characteristics enable higher quality results and improved workflows.

The transition of Kapa’s PCR and qPCR portfolios to Merck is expected to be completed by 1 January 2017.

“The alliance extension with Roche will offer our customers greater access to novel products via our world-class distribution channel. These enzymes represent a significant advantage over commercially available DNA polymerases and thus offer the potential for entirely new PCR applications,” said Udit Batra, member of the Merck executive board and CEO, Life Science.

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