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.