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Biocartis, Merck KGaA Extend RAS Testing Partnership to Middle East, North Africa

NEW YORK – Biocartis said Monday that it has expanded its collaboration with Merck KGaA to provide RAS biomarker testing in the Middle East and North Africa (MEA) region.

The companies initially partnered in 2016 to develop and commercialize a novel liquid biopsy-based RAS biomarker test for metastatic colorectal cancer using Biocartis' Idylla PCR-based diagnostics platform, which would be marketed outside the US.

Biocartis said that this expansion broadens the deal to include Merck affiliates in the MEA region, expanding the reach of its KRAS and NRAS-BRAF tests.

"In line with our commitment at Merck to enhance patient care in the MEA region, we are happy to collaborate with Biocartis in addressing the critical need for improved access to RAS biomarker testing, particularly in areas where such testing is not readily available," Ramsey Morad, Merck's senior VP and head of Middle East, Africa, Turkey, and Russia/CIS, said in a statement.