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Millipore and Gen-Probe Expand Collaboration


Millipore Corporation and Gen-Probe announced at the BIO 2007 International Convention that Millipore will market and sell Gen-Probe's Mycoplasma Tissue Culture Non-Isotopic (MTC-NI) test to its biopharmaceutical customers. This new agreement expands on the two companies' existing collaboration to create a new generation of nucleic acid tests for the biopharmaceutical market. The MTC-NI test was developed by Gen-Probe prior to its collaboration with Millipore and is commercially available today. Millipore's global sales organization will sell the MTC-NI assay until the new sample preparation products and higher sensitivity assays that are being developed by the two companies are launched. The MTC-NI assay is an easy-to-use DNA probe-based system that can be combined with Millipore's sample preparation products and application knowledge to quickly and cost-effectively detect mycoplasma.

Millipore and Gen-Probe formed a collaboration in August 2005 to create faster, more accurate tests for bacteria, viruses, mycoplasma, and other contaminants commonly found in biopharmaceuticals. These new assays are expected to dramatically increase the sensitivity and reduce the time-to-result compared to traditional culture-based tests. The first novel assay from the collaboration is expected to launch this year and the two companies are also in the process of developing additional assays for other bacteria and mycoplasma.

Millipore's global sales organization will have rights to sell MTC-NI to its biopharmaceutical customers worldwide both during the development of the new assays and after the products are commercially available. Mycoplasma contamination is one of the most challenging problems in biopharmaceutical manufacturing since it is difficult to detect and remove from cell lines. MTC-NI is a first-line screening tool for the broad detection of mycoplasma and other microorganisms.

"The expansion of our partnership with Gen-Probe reflects our conviction in the long-term potential for developing faster and more accurate detection of microorganisms in biopharmaceutical production," said Jean-Paul Mangeolle, President of Millipore's Bioprocess Division. "As we are developing these new assays, it is extremely valuable to have the ability to sell Gen-Probe's MTC-NI tests to many of the same customers who we believe will eventually purchase the new tests we are developing. We are now able to package MTC-NI tests with our mycoplasma clearance products to meet customers' immediate needs, while strengthening relationships and gaining feedback that will help us to develop and sell our next-generation MilliPROBE(TM) nucleic acid tests."

"We are pleased with the expansion of our Millipore collaboration, which we believe will drive sales of our existing MTC-NI product while also paving the way for adoption of the more rapid and sensitive next-generation products," said Lynda Merrill, Gen-Probe's Vice President of Industrial Relationships.

Source: Millipore Corp.