Epoch breaks Amersham deal
MGB Eclipse range of probe systems after failing to meet sales
targets, according to the latter company.
Last week's announcement of a collaboration between Qiagen and Epoch Biosciences in the area of gene expression arrays came just ahead of the end of the latter's distribution agreement with Amersham Biosciences.
Epoch has terminated a distribution and licensing agreement with Amersham, established in 2002 for the global marketing of its MGB Eclipse Probe Systems, after alleging that the latter had failed to meet its sales targets for the products.
William Gerber, Epoch's CEO, said: "We were very disappointed that Amersham failed to meet contractually established sales minimums and regret that our recent discussions did not produce a solution satisfactory to Epoch."
Gerber added that the company had decided to focus its energy on partnerships that were 'tracking to plan' and generating growing revenues. He said Epoch was in discussions with other potential distribution partners for the MGB Eclipse product line.
In October of last year, Qiagen became the co-exclusive worldwide partner for MGB Eclipse probe products for gene expression research, and in May the latter company launched a catalogue version of its QuantiTect product based on the technology. This was followed by last week's extension of the range to include customisable kits.
Epoch and Amersham forged their collaboration on the use of the probes for SNP research in 2002, and the co-exclusive worldwide sales and marketing partner to the research field for gene expression. In early August, Epoch disclosed that Amersham's sales of custom and catalogue MGB Eclipse Probe Systems to end-users had not grown as sufficiently as expected, and that Amersham was unlikely to achieve minimum sales levels provided for in the agreement between the companies. Discussions had been initiated with Amersham about the rate of end-user sales growth and the related contractual terms.
Epoch also said at the time, that its anticipated revenues from Amersham would be insignificant for the balance of 2003 and reduced its projected revenues for full year 2003 to between $8.5 million (€7.2m) and $9.5 million.