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Dako, An Agilent Technologies Company, And U.S.-based Merck & Co. To Collaborate On Companion Diagnostic Test For Analysis Of Tumor PD-L1 Levels

GLOSTRUP, Denmark, May 30, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dako, an Agilent Technologies company and a worldwide provider of cancer diagnostics , today announced a collaboration with Merck & Co., Inc. ( known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, through an affiliate) to develop a companion diagnostic test for the analysis of the potential tumor biomarker PD-L1 to aid in the treatment of cancer.

The companion diagnostic test coming out of this collaboration will be evaluated as part of the clinical development program for Merck & Co.'s investigational anti-PD-1 antibody being studied for the treatment of cancer.

"Early findings from Merck & Co.'s broad clinical development program have provided evidence for the potential of PD-L1 tumor expression to aid study enrichment and patient selection in some tumor types," said Dr. Eric Rubin, vice president, Oncology, Merck Research Laboratories. "We are pleased to be collaborating with Dako in advancing this companion diagnostic development program."

Today's announcement underscores Dako and Agilent's continued commitment to advancing companion diagnostics through strong partnerships with key players in the pharmaceutical industry. Dako, now part of Agilent, has a record of successful long-term partnerships with companies such as AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Amgen, Pfizer and Eli Lilly and continues to attract new partners, like Merck & Co., Inc.

"We are very pleased to be collaborating with Merck & Co.," said Jacob Thaysen, vice president and general manager for Agilent's Diagnostics and Genomics business. "Partnering with other companies that share our commitment to fighting cancer allows us to aid in the selection of patients most likely to respond to specific cancer therapies."

The financial terms of the development and commercialization agreement were not disclosed.

About Agilent Technologies Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the world's premier measurement company and a technology leader in chemical analysis, life sciences, diagnostics, electronics and communications. The company's 20,600 employees serve customers in more than 100 countries. Agilent had revenues of $6.8 billion in fiscal 2013. Agilent acquired Dako in 2012, a well-known provider of reagents, instruments, software and expertise to make accurate diagnoses and determine the most effective treatment for cancer patients. Information about Agilent is available at www.agilent.com and information about Dako products is available at www.dako.com .

On Sept. 19, 2013, Agilent announced plans to separate into two publicly traded companies through a tax-free spinoff of its electronic measurement business. The new company is named Keysight Technologies, Inc. The separation is expected to be completed in early November 2014.

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