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Merck KGaA, ArcherDx Partner to Develop CDx for Downstream Therapeutic

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – ArcherDx announced today that it has partnered with Germany-based Merck KGaA to develop and commercialize a next-generation sequencing-based companion diagnostic assay for one of the pharmaceutical company's drug candidates.

Under the terms of the agreement, Archer will develop and pursue regulatory approval for a CDx on its ArcherDx platform that will help identify patients who might benefit from an unspecified treatment Merck is developing. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The ArcherDx platform integrates the firm's Anchored Multiplex PCR (AMP) technology with the Illumina MiSeqDx sequencing system and Archer analysis bioinformatics software. Archer will design the new assay to detect multiple classes of genomic alterations across a range of genes linked to solid malignant neoplasms, and it will be compatible with both FFPE tissue and plasma specimen types.

"The work we've engaged in with Merck KGaA … highlights the importance and potential of utilizing our proprietary profiling approach to make available to physicians an FDA-approved companion diagnostic solution for use with targeted therapies," Archer President and CEO Jason Myers said in a statement.