Life Technologies Inc. announced Monday that it has been granted alicense by Roche Molecular Systems Inc. (RMS) and The Perkin-ElmerCorp. to manufacture and sell RMS's thermostable enzymes andproducts, including the Taq DNA polymerase enzyme, for use in thepolymerase chain reaction (PCR) process.

The licensing agreement is a non-exclusive contract valid for the lifeof Hoffman-La Roche's PCR patents. PCR, a nucleic acid amplificationprocess, is a widely used research tool that enables researchers togenerate a vast number of copies of specific DNA sequences within ashort time. Both RMS and Perkin-Elmer, the exclusive distributor ofRoche's PCR products for applications other than in vitro diagnostics,will receive unspecified royalties from Life Technologies'(NASDAQ:LTEK) sale of PCR products.

Life Technologies said the licensing agreement will allow it to offer"an integrated and cross-qualified line of PCR application products."Previously the company was able to sell products for use only beforeor after the PCR process, and could only market the Taq DNApolymerase enzyme for applications other than PCR (such as DNAsequencing and labeling). The company had been marketing theenzyme prior to Cetus Corp.'s PCR patent in 1989; the Taq enzymewas first derived in 1966.

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