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Randi Hernandez was science editor at BioPharm International from September 2014 to May 2017.
Under a new agreement, Sigma-Aldrich will be the single supplier for Roche’s Biochemical Reagents product portfolio.
Roche’s conventional genomics, proteomics, and cellular analysis assays will now be distributed through Sigma-Aldrich, according to a Mar. 19, 2015 press release announcing the transition.
The agreement does not include products for in-vitro diagnostic use, nor does it include nucleic acid purification (NAP) or quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) instruments and reagents (LightCycler and MagNA Pure portfolios). Sigma-Aldrich will, however, begin distributing Roche’s products for DNA labeling and detection, restriction enzymes, molecular cloning kits, conventional PCR applications, tissue dissociation reagents, transfection reagents, functional cell assays, protease and phosphatase inhibitors, assay substrates, antibodies and protein detection, and purification reagents starting in 2015. Roche will still continue to manufacture all of its products, regardless of distributor.
The assignment of Sigma-Aldrich as the sole supplier of these scientific tools and reagents will open new channels for Roche via expanded eCommerce and supply-chain capabilities, says Paul Brown, head of Roche Molecular Diagnostics, and will allow Roche the “flexibility to devote more resources to our primary focus areas,” he said in a statement.
Sigma-Aldrich recently added some important assays to its repertoire via BioReliance, its company under SAFC Commercial. BioReliance’s predictive assays-such as its in-vitro ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion)- and toxicology assays evaluate a drug product's permeability, transport, metabolism, and toxicity using a novel suite of genetically modified cell lines created with CompoZr zinc finger nuclease.
Merck KGaA purchased Sigma-Aldrich in 2014, and by mid-2015, Sigma-Aldrich is expected to become part of Millipore-but it is unclear what this may mean in terms of branding once the acquisition is complete. When asked about this uncertainty, Quintin Lai, vice-president of investor relations and strategy of Sigma-Aldrich told BioPharm International, "This deal contemplated the pending acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich by Merck KGaA.”