Roche expertise helped Merck:

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Merck & Co. Inc. turned to Roche Diagnostics, which has its North American headquarters in Indianapolis, to help it win regulatory approval in October for its new HIV drug, Isentress.

New Jersey-based Merck tested patients during clinical trials with Roche Diagnostics’ viral-load test, called COBAS HIV-1 AMPLICOR. Roche’s HIV-1 viral-load test has been the predominant choice in HIV anti-retroviral clinical drug trials since 1996.

Merck’s new drug is an integrase inhibitor, which prevents replication of HIV by blocking insertion of the virus’ genetic material into human DNA.

Roche Diagnostics is part of Switzerland-based Roche Group.

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