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Ventana Launches First Fully Automated IHC Test To Detect BRAF V600E Mutation In A Variety Of Cancers

TUCSON, Ariz., Oct 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. (Ventana), a member of the Roche Group, today announced the global launch of the industry's first BRAF V600E immunohistochemistry (IHC) test 1 to detect the BRAF V600E mutation in a variety of tumors.  The test is designed to detect the most frequent BRAF mutation, V600E, which has been found to play a key role in a variety of cancers including colorectal cancer—the third most common type of cancer and third leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide.  The BRAF V600E mutation is also known to play a role in other cancers such as melanoma, papillary thyroid cancer and hairy cell leukemia.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131001/LA88892)

"As a leader in cancer diagnostics, Ventana is committed to providing unique immunohistochemistry assays for aiding in the diagnosis and management of a variety of cancers," says Ventana President Mara G. Aspinall. "The BRAF V600E (VE1) IHC in vitro diagnostic is a valuable addition to our assay portfolio to aid physicians and patients in the important stratification of colon cancer."

The Ventana BRAF V600E (VE1) Mouse Monoclonal Primary Antibody IHC assay is the result of the company's exclusive license agreement with the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) and the University Hospital Heidelberg, Germany to commercialize the novel IHC primary antibody that detects the V600E mutated BRAF protein.  It is the only fully automated IHC test providing lab professionals and pathologists with a highly sensitive and specific, standardized testing method for the assessment of the BRAF V600E mutation in tissue. The assay is optimized to perform on all VENTANA Benchmark IHC platforms with the OptiView DAB IHC Detection Kit, providing easy interpretation and seamless integration into a laboratory's workflow.

Roche also offers the  cobas ® 4800 BRAF V600 Mutation Test which is the companion diagnostic for Zelboraf  ® (vemurafenib). This test was clinically validated to select patients in the pivotal BRIM-3 study, and only patients selected by this test were shown to benefit from Zelboraf therapy. The new Ventana IHC BRAF assay expands Roche's offering in BRAF V600E testing into disease areas beyond melanoma.

1The VENTANA BRAFV600E (VE1) Mouse Monoclonal Primary Antibody in vitro diagnostic antibody is being launched as a US Class I exempt/ CE-IVD product.

About Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. ("VMSI") (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY), a member of the Roche Group, innovates and manufactures instruments and reagents that automate tissue processing and slide staining for cancer diagnostics. VENTANA solutions are used in clinical histology and drug development research laboratories worldwide. The company's intuitive, integrated staining, workflow management platforms, and digital pathology solutions optimize laboratory efficiencies to reduce errors, support diagnosis and inform treatment decisions for anatomic pathology professionals. Together with Roche, VMSI is driving Personalized Healthcare through accelerated drug discovery and the development of "companion diagnostics" to identify the patients most likely to respond favorably to specific therapies.

Visit www.ventana.com to learn more.

VENTANA, the VENTANA logo, and BenchMark are trademarks of Roche.

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