Roche Diagnostics, a Division of the Roche Group, and Prionics Inc., a Zürich-based biotechnology company, have agreed on a collaboration that will respond to the increasing demand throughout Europe for validated tests for BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy). In 1998, Prionics, a spin-off company founded by distinguished prion researchers at the University of Zürich, introduced Prionics-Check, the first specific and rapid test for the detection of BSE ("mad cow disease") in cattle. On February 1st Roche Diagnostics is to take over distribution of Prionics-Check in virtually all markets.