Roche Collaborates with Astellas Pharma for Tissue Diagnostics - Analyst Blog

Roche Holding AgRHHBY announced that its member company, Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. has entered into a collaboration agreement with Japan-based Astellas Pharma Inc. ALPMY to develop novel automated tissue diagnostics in support of therapeutic compounds in development. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

As per the collaboration agreement, both companies will support early-stage clinical trials for the Astellas' therapeutic compound ASP5878, a novel small-molecule fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) inhibitor, which has been shown to block kinase activities of FGFR1, FGFR2, FGFR3 and FGFR4.

On the other hand, Ventana will develop an immunohistochemistry test that will identify FGF19 in certain solid tumors. We note that Ventana Companion Diagnostics team has entered into collaborations with various pharmaceutical companies in the past.

Roche expects that the agreement with Astellas will allow its collaborative projects to smoothly move from early-stage biomarker hypothesis testing to late-stage companion diagnostic development with the latter's targeted therapies in oncology.

Roche specializes in drugs for oncology, immunology and infectious diseases. Apart from providing therapeutic products and services for diverse medical needs, the company focuses on innovative diagnostic solutions for early detection and treatment of diseases.

This pharmaceutical major has a broad portfolio of diagnostic tests with over a hundred high-quality Elecsys assays for immune testing along with a new generation of fully-automated cobas analyzers for improved medical decision making, scheduling and efficiency.

Earlier in the week, Roche acquired privately-held genomics research company CAPP Medical to strengthen its oncology pipeline.

We are impressed by Roche's efforts to strengthen its Diagnostic division.

Roche currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the health care sector include Mallinckrodt plc MNK and Valeant Pharmaceuticals VRX . Both sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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