The owner of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology,Roche Molecular Systems Inc. (RMS), and its marketing partner,Perkin-Elmer Corp. (P-E), announced that they have licensed toUnited States Biochemical Corp. (USB) the rights to manufactureand sell certain biochemical components of the technology inthe research market.

USB of Cleveland, which is a subsidiary of AmershamInternational plc, now has a non-exclusive worldwide licenseon the Taq polymerase and other thermostable enzymes andproducts used in PCR technology. RMS and P-E will receiveroyalty payments from USB on product sales. The license isgood for the lifetime of the PCR patents, which are held byRMS' parent company, Hoffmann-La Roche Inc.

This is the latest effort by RMS and P-E to accelerate thedevelopment of PCR applications. In July, the duo grantedsimilar privileges to Boehringer Mannheim. In both cases, thelicensees are limited to selling products for research purposesonly. P-E of Norwalk, Conn., is the exclusive distributor of PCRproducts manufactured by Branchburg, N.J., company RMS forareas other than in vitro diagnostics. RMS has retained therights to the latter market -- it sells diagnostic PCR-based testkits under the trade name Amplicor.

"The license (to USB) is part of our ongoing strategy to ensurethat researchers have access to a variety of PCR products," saidKathy Ordonez, president of RMS.

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

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