Gene Logic to assist Roche on drug uses

BUSINESS DIGEST

Business Digest

December 09, 2005|By TRICIA BISHOP | TRICIA BISHOP,SUN REPORTER

Roche Holding Ltd. has signed an agreement with Gene Logic Inc., a Gaithersburg biotechnology business, to help find alternate uses for some of Roche's stalled drug candidates, part of an industry trend toward salvaging select products.

Gene Logic Inc. said yesterday that it will provide such contract drug "repositioning" services to Switzerland-based Roche, which in turn will give the company milestone and royalty payments if it can find potential new uses for drug candidates that didn't make it out of clinical testing for one reason or another. If Roche chooses not to pursue identified possibilities, Gene Logic has the option to license and develop the drug candidate itself.

Roche routinely tests its successful drugs - those that have made it to market - for new possible uses, but the partnership with Gene Logic marks the first time the company has made a concerted effort to do the same for failed candidates.

"We look at it as really a way to allow us to have more of an organized and systematic approach to re-evaluating compounds," Roche spokeswoman Darien Wilson said.

In September, Gene Logic announced a similar deal with New York-based Pfizer Inc.

Gene Logic's stock closed up 14 cents to $3.95 on the Nasdaq stock market yesterday.

tricia.bishop@baltsun.com

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