INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced today the establishment of a strategic alliance with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for the center to operate as a Roche Molecular Center of Excellence (MCOE) for the next five years.
As a nationally recognized Roche MCOE, the Medical Center's molecular diagnostics laboratory will be one of the first centers of excellence to offer physicians and patients some of the latest and most advanced molecular technologies, such as Roche's cobas® 4800 BRAF V600 Mutation Test, a companion diagnostic recently approved by the FDA to identify patients who are eligible for treatment with the drug Zelboraf™ (vemurafenib) for inoperable or metastatic melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer.
Established in 2002, Roche's MCOE program is designed to create an alliance network that enables non-competing regional laboratories across the U.S. to collaborate and capitalize on scientific knowledge in molecular testing and, in turn, help accelerate the advancement of new test methods and technology.
"Roche is very pleased to welcome Cedars-Sinai Medical Center into the Molecular Center of Excellence alliance," said Whitney Green, Senior Vice President, Molecular Diagnostics at Roche Diagnostics Corporation. "We value their expertise in implementing molecular technologies in the advancement of personalized medicine."
For Cedars-Sinai, the MCOE relationship offers a focal point to bring together many existing initiatives related to personalized medicine diagnostics, as well as a newly created Advanced Biorepository and Morphology Translational Core. "This relationship provides excellent synergy with our vision to be a premier academic medical center in personalized medicine through state-of-the-art translational research for the best patient outcome," said Mahul Amin, M.D., chair of the department of pathology and laboratory medicine. It also complements the Medical Center's Molecular Genetics Pathology fellowship program, one of only 30 such fellowships offered by the 346 residency programs nationwide.
Under the leadership of Jean Lopategui, M.D., medical director of the molecular pathology laboratory, Cedars-Sinai is nationally recognized for excellence in technology-based research and clinical molecular diagnostics. The laboratory focuses on new prognostic and diagnostic tools for individualized molecular testing for personalized treatments in such key areas as cancer, infectious diseases, genetic and familial disorders, and cardiovascular diseases.
"With Roche's leadership in personalized healthcare and companion diagnostics, this agreement enhances our opportunities to collaborate in support of Cedars-Sinai's own personalized medicine initiatives," said Dr Lopategui.
About Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Cedars-Sinai
The board-certified pathologists at Cedars-Sinai are nationally and internationally recognized experts who perform cutting-edge research, publish in leading pathology journals and contribute to education on a national level. The department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine has an established reputation for accuracy, speed and responsiveness, as well as an active education mission that involves nearly 30 residents and fellows. It also serves as a resource for second opinions and consultation services to the pathology and clinician community nationwide and to physician offices and smaller hospitals in its outreach laboratory services.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is one of the largest nonprofit academic medical centers in the Western United States. For 20 years it has been named Los Angeles' most preferred hospital for all health needs in an independent survey of area residents. Cedars-Sinai is internationally renowned for its diagnostic and treatment capabilities, as well as breakthroughs in biomedical research and outstanding medical education. It ranks among the top 10 non-university hospitals in the nation for its research activities, and its human research protection program is fully accredited by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. (AAHRPP). For more information on Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, call 1-800-CEDARS1 or visit www.cedars-sinai.edu.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world's largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche's personalized healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2010, Roche had over 80,000 employees worldwide and invested over 9 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 47.5 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information: www.roche.com or www.roche-diagnostics.us.
COBAS is a trademark of Roche. All trademarks mentioned in this release are protected by law.
For further information, please contact:
Director, Corporate Communications
Roche Diagnostics Corporation
Indianapolis, Indiana USA
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Los Angeles, California USA
SOURCE Roche Diagnostics