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HPV Testing for Cervical Cancer Risk Patients set to Increase

LONDON, January 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Roche sets up co -marketing agreement with private laboratory to support greater access to HPV testing

In an innovative commercial agreement, leading healthcare company Roche and foremost private cellular pathology laboratory Unilabs-IHS, are collaborating to help make state-of-the art testing for signs of cervical cancer more accessible to thousands of women in London and throughout the UK.

Roche's leading-edge and fully automated cobas® HPV test which runs on the acclaimed cobas 4800 system, will provide a fast turn-around of cervical smear samples from potentially thousands of women per year, sent to the London based laboratory from clinicians from all over the country.  The testing at Unilabs-IHS, will not only be conducted as a follow up  to the traditional "Pap" cervical smear method to check ambiguous results, it will also be used upon request in primary screening for cervical pre cancer, giving a greater chance to avoid disease progression.

The ultra-high reliability of the cobas HPV test will be of huge benefit for clinicians and patients alike, due to the test's unique genotyping that individually identifies genotypes 16 and 18, the highest risk types associated with the development of cervical cancer and its precursor lesions, while simultaneously identifying 12 other high risk HPV types.  Such technology provides better risk stratification of patients enabling a more sensitive and efficient approach to cervical screening.

Dr Glen Dixon,  Medical Director of Cytopathology at Unilabs-IHS   from Unilabs-IHS said "We are delighted to have come to this agreement with Roche.  Using the cobas HPV test on the cobas 4800 platform for our HPV testing work load, means that clinicians will not only have the fastest ever turnaround times, but will also have enhanced and incontrovertible HPV results, with no need to re-test - and all at no extra cost."

Paul Eros, Director of Molecular Diagnostics at Roche said: "HPV testing provides earlier identification of those women at risk of developing cervical cancer.  The agreement that we have struck with Unilabs-IHS for cervical screening with the cobas HPV test, is a significant step forward towards spreading access to HPV testing at the primary screening stage.  Given the clear benefits of this technology to patients as well as the NHS, we look forward to seeing the technology's timely introduction at the primary screening stage, across the country via the national cervical screening programme - promising a better deal for women and a more efficient approach to cervical screening."

About the cobas® HPV Test on the cobas 4800 platform
Roche's cobas HPV Test simultaneously detects 12 high-risk HPV types (HPV types 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66 and 68) as a pooled result, as well as HPV genotypes 16 and 18 individually. Roche received FDA approval on the cobas® HPV Test and in April 2011 and launched the cobas HPV Test in countries that accept CE Mark in 2009.
Due to key features such as the "load and go" facility for reagents, The cobas HPV test is easy and simple to use with minimal hands-on and maximum walkaway time whilst providing high throughput capabilities and has the flexibility to meet smaller throughput requirements.
About Human Papillomavirus and Cervical Cancer
Persistent infection with human papillomavirus is the cause of cervical cancer in women, with HPV being found in 99.7 per cent of cervical cancers worldwide. Of the more than 118 different types of HPV, the cobas® HPV Test identifies the 14 high-risk types associated with the development of cervical cancer and its precursor lesions. HPV types 16 and 18 have been identified as the highest risk genotypes, detected in approximately 70 per cent of cervical cancers. Nucleic acid (DNA) testing is a sensitive and non-invasive method for determining the presence of HPV infection.
The World Health Organization estimates there are 470,000 new cases of cervical cancer annually.

About Unilabs
Unilabs UK are a leading supplier of Cellular Pathology Services, Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing, and Breast Diagnostic services in the United Kingdom.Unilabs UK provides Cellular Pathology Services and  Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing to the private and public sectors, employing highly specialised consultants backed by high calibre laboratory and administrative staff.
About Roche
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world's largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche's personalized healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2010, Roche had over 80,000 employees worldwide and invested over 9 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 47.5 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan.

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