PLEASANTON, Calif., Dec. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) today announced an expansion of their distribution alliance with the life science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, to now include the qPCR and endpoint PCR portfolios 1 from Kapa Biosystems. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operates as MilliporeSigma in the US and Canada. Kapa Biosystems was previously acquired by Roche in December of 2015. The agreement will strengthen Roche's existing distribution relationship with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and allow customers broad access to these products through its strong distribution channels. The distribution agreement includes all geographies except the US, Japan and Brazil. It does not include Kapa's Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) products. The NGS portfolio remains a strong complement to the offering of Roche Sequencing Solutions and will continue to be made available through Roche. The novel PCR enzymes offered under the distribution agreement have high tolerance to common PCR inhibitors, thereby increasing speed and specific activity, and improving fidelity. These characteristics enable high quality results and improved workflows. 2 "This agreement represents a powerful combination of Kapa's high-quality PCR and qPCR products with the excellent e-commerce and distribution channels of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany," said Uwe Oberlander, Head of Roche Molecular Diagnostics. "We believe this partnership will provide improved access to these products for researchers in many countries around the world." About RocheRoche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people's lives. Roche is the world's largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics under one roof have made Roche the leader in personalised healthcare - a strategy that aims to fit the right treatment to each patient in the best way possible. Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. Twenty-nine medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicines. Roche has been recognised as the Group Leader in sustainability within the Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology & Life Sciences Industry eight years in a row by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices.