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ISIN: US5999021034 | WKN: 900625

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Monday January 8, 3:19 am Eastern Time

Roche, Millennium in arthritis diagnostics venture
(UPDATE: Adds comment from statement, market reaction)

BASEL, Switzerland, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Roche Holding AG`s Roche Diagnostics division has struck an alliance with Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc (NasdaqNM:MLNM - news) to develop diagnostic products for rheumatoid arthritis, Roche said on Monday.

U.S.-based Millennium will receive a licensing fee, funding for research and milestone payments and royalties under the three-year deal.

Roche gets certain research and development rights for select diagnostic markers in this disease area. It will also market products resulting from the alliance, it said without giving financial details.

Roche certificates opened up 75 Swiss francs at 16,120 in a generally firmer Swiss market.

``The combination of Roche`s world-class strength in diagnostics with Millennium`s strong position in genomics and proteomics will bring revolutionary diagnostic products to market,`` said Heino von Prondzynski, the head of Roche`s diagnostics division.
Der komplette Text:

Monday January 8, 2:00 am Eastern Time

Press Release
SOURCE: Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Millennium and Roche Form Alliance in the Area of Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnostics

-- Collaboration Focuses on Creating Novel Diagnomic(TM) Products for Personalized Medicine --

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: MLNM - news), together with its wholly-owned subsidiary Millennium Predictive Medicine, Inc., and Roche Diagnostics, a division of the Roche Group (Swiss Exchange: ROCZ.S), today announced that they have entered into a collaborative research agreement that will focus on the development of diagnostic products for rheumatoid arthritis. The research will apply Millennium`s advanced proteomics technologies and represents an expansion of Millennium`s Diagnomic(TM) product development and personalized medicine initiatives into the area of rheumatoid arthritis. For Roche, this alliance provides an opportunity to further strengthen its proteomics research program to develop novel diagnostics.
* (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/19991220/MLNMLOGO )

Through the terms of this three-year alliance, Roche obtains certain research and development rights to select diagnostic markers and related intellectual property developed by Millennium in this disease area. Millennium receives a licensing fee, funding for research, milestone payments and royalties. Diagnostic products resulting from the alliance will be brought to market by Roche.

The ultimate goal of this alliance is to provide diagnostic products for patients who suffer with rheumatoid arthritis that will enable individualized programs of care and medical intervention. The innovative Diagnomic(TM) products are molecular diagnostics that describe a patient`s current medical condition and provide prognostic and therapeutic information. Millennium and Roche will exclusively collaborate to develop markers for early detection, prognosis and monitoring of the disease. Utilization of proteomics-the comprehensive study of proteins expressed in cells, tissues and fluids-for the discovery and development of Diagnomic(TM) products can lead to more specific, highly sensitive tests that allow patient-specific definition and prognosis of disease. The information thus gained can result in a more individualized, comprehensive course of treatment for patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

``We are delighted to enter into this new alliance with Millennium. The combination of Roche`s world-class strength in diagnostics with Millennium`s strong position in genomics and proteomics will bring revolutionary diagnostic products to market,`` said Heino von Prondzynski, head of Roche`s Diagnostics Division. ``Through this alliance, we will have the ability to work with Millennium in applying their advanced proteomics technologies in this critical disease area.``

``Inflammation is a key franchise area for Millennium. Together with Roche, we have made a serious commitment to the development of new Diagnomic(TM) products to help the estimated six million people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis each year,`` said Kenneth Conway, President of Millennium Predictive Medicine, Inc. ``Through this diagnostic partnership and Millennium`s existing alliances, we hope to accelerate product development for rheumatoid arthritis and pursue our long-term vision of changing the practice of medicine.``

``This alliance with Roche will enable us to further advance our goal of delivering personalized medicine through a dynamic collaboration in rheumatoid arthritis,`` said Mark Levin, chairman and chief executive officer of Millennium. ``Our partnership with Roche will further our efforts in the area of inflammation and will continue to move Millennium closer to our goal of delivering breakthrough products to help improve the lives of patients.``

Inflammation is one of Millennium`s three key research and development franchise areas, the other two being oncology and metabolic disease. The company has a number of inflammation-based targets and compounds in various stages of development that span from discovery research to Phase II clinical trials. These programs include small molecules, monoclonal antibodies and proteins to potentially treat a broad spectrum of chronic inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, and multiple sclerosis, as well as acute inflammatory conditions such as stroke. The alliance with Roche will now enable Millennium to expand upon its inflammation franchise area by developing a personalized medicine approach for Diagnomics(TM) for rheumatoid arthritis.

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world`s leading research-oriented healthcare groups in the fields of pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and vitamins. Roche`s innovative products and services address needs for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, thus enhancing people`s well-being and quality of life. Roche has approximately 63,900 employees and sells its products in over 170 countries. Through the company`s Diagnostics Division, innovative testing products and services are made available to physicians, patients, hospitals and laboratories worldwide.

Millennium, a leading biopharmaceutical company, applies its comprehensive and integrated science and technology platform for the discovery and development of breakthrough therapeutic and predictive medicine products, with a goal of delivering personalized medicine. Through the industrialization of this gene-to-patient platform, Millennium is also striving to accelerate the process of drug discovery and development. Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., Millennium currently employs more than 1,200 people.

This press release contains ``forward-looking statements,`` including Millennium`s expectations of future industry conditions, strategic plans and forecasts of operational results. Various risks may cause Millennium`s actual results to differ materially, including: uncertainties about its drug discovery and clinical development processes, uncertainties about obtaining patent protection for its discoveries and about the commercial limitations imposed by patents owned or controlled by third parties; Millennium`s dependence upon strategic alliance partners to develop and commercialize products and services based on its work; uncertainties about obtaining regulatory approvals to market products and services resulting from its development efforts; and the requirement for substantial funding to conduct research and development and to expand commercialization activities. For a further list and description of such risks and uncertainties, see the reports filed by Millennium with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Millennium disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Note: This release is available on Millennium`s Web site at: www.millennium.com

SOURCE: Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


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