Merck KGaA Expands Roche Reagents Pact
Germany’s Merck KGaA has expanded its distribution alliance with Swiss drugmaker Roche 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 the companies’ existing distribution relationship by providing one of the most complementary suites of high-performance tools for PCR and qPCR available, Merck said, adding that the novel PCR enzymes have improved tolerance to common PCR inhibitors, increased speed and specific activity and higher fidelity.
The German company will be the exclusive supplier of the enzymes for all geographies except the US, Brazil and Japan. Under the terms of the renewed agreement, Merck said it will leverage its sales, marketing and e-commerce expertise and the strength of its life science division’s relationships with the scientific community to present and distribute Kapa PCR and quantitative PCR reagents and kits.
The continued collaboration builds on Roche’s July 2015 global exclusive distribution agreement with Sigma-Aldrich for its biochemical reagents portfolio. Merck acquired Sigma-Aldrich in the same year, and the since then it said the collaboration has since driven growth in its life science business, offering premier brand tools for genomics, proteomics and cell analysis.
Transition of Kapa’s PCR and qPCR portfolios to Merck is expected to be completed by Jan. 1, 2017. In the interim, these products will continue to be available through existing Kapa channels. “The alliance extension with Roche will offer our customers greater access to novel products via our world-class distribution channel,” said Udit Batra, member of the Merck Executive Board and CEO, Life Science. “These enzymes represent a significant advantage over commercially available DNA polymerases and thus offer the potential for entirely new PCR applications,” he said.