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Epigenomics Gets What Companies Rarely Do: A Huge Deal

Executive Summary

Roche Diagnostics and Epigenomics AG, a start-up diagnostics company, have signed a three-year collaboration to find new cancer diagnostic markers, a deal that could bring Epigenomics as much as $100 million--if all of the markers covered get to market. Epigenomics is working on DNA methylation based biomarkers for cancer and will identify the markers; Roche will develop them into tests and market them worldwide.

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J&J's Franchise in Cancer Diagnostics

J&J isn't the ground-shaker in molecular testing that Roche Diagnostics is--so it is forging a different path to becoming a leader in emerging high-potential sectors of the in vitro diagnostics industry. It formed a subsidiary Veridex, dedicated to cancer diagnostics. That subsidiary is assembling a platform of core technologies and recently completed several deals, including in-licensing prostate cancer markers based on methylation, a hot area of research, from start-up Oncomethylome Sciences.

OncoMethylome Sciences SA

Epigenomics AG may be a big name in the small world of diagnostic start-ups these days because of its recent IPO, but two-year-old OncoMethylome Sciences SA believes it can give the older company stiff competition in the emerging field of DNA methylation-based cancer markers. The company is developing tests for early diagnosis of cancer and stratification of disease treatments, using highly sensitive, cost-effective DNA methylation technologies.

Deal Statistics Quarterly, Q1 2003

In Vivo presents another installment of our quarterly reivew of dealmaking--in this case January-March 2003. Our data come from Windhover's Strategic Transactions Database. We include medical device financings by deal type; diagnostic financings by industry segment; pharma and biotech alliances by therapeutic category and industry segment; pharma and biotech financings by market segment, and pharma and biotech M&A.

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