QIAGEN and Applied Biosystems Announce PCR Technologies License Agreement
Venlo , The Netherlands and Foster City , CA - December 5, 2005 - QIAGEN N.V. (NASDAQ: QGEN; Frankfurt , Prime Standard: QIA) and Applied Biosystems Group (NYSE:ABI), an Applera Corporation business today announced that they have entered into a license agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, Applied Biosystems has granted a license to QIAGEN under the expanded Applied Biosystems PCR (polymerase chain reaction) licensing program. The expanded program includes patents for real-time PCR and other important PCR-related technologies not licensed under the previous PCR licensing program. Financial terms of the license were not disclosed.
"Real-time PCR is a key technology in the rapidly growing life science research markets. With this additional license covering the usage of real-time PCR, QIAGEN is very well positioned as a leading manufacturer and supplier of high quality PCR reagents and kits in this field," said Peer M. Schatz, QIAGEN's CEO. "The license agreement with Applied Biosystems enhances QIAGEN's value as a leading supplier of a broad range of real-time PCR technologies which are optimized for use with our market and technology leading preanalytical solutions."
"QIAGEN is another major licensee under the expanded program, which was initiated in June," said Catherine M. Burzik, President of Applied Biosystems. " Interest in our expanded PCR licensing program further demonstrates the value of our intellectual property for this fundamental technology in research and applied testing markets."
The Applied Biosystems expanded PCR licensing program includes licenses to the foundational patents as well as the two leading real-time PCR techniques known as the TaqMan® assay and the Dye-Intercalation Assay method. It also includes patents covering an improved form of the Taq polymerase enzyme (AmpliTaq Gold® technology) used to initiate PCR and referred to as Hot-Start. The expanded program follows an agreement signed in May 2005 between Applera and Hoffmann-La Roche for Applied Biosystems to be the sole licensor of Roche patents covering reagents and methods for practicing PCR and real-time PCR in the life science research and applied fields.
Although the foundational patents covering the PCR process expired in the United States in March 2005 and will expire elsewhere in March 2006, numerous other patents related to PCR remain in force. These surviving patents cover, for example, enzyme compositions, kits, and methods such as reverse transcription and DNA sequencing. Applied Biosystems will continue to offer licenses to these patents.
PCR, an enabling technology for life science and other research, is a process in which a segment of a nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) is copied or "amplified" so that the nucleic acid can be more readily analyzed. In real-time PCR, the amplified DNA is detected during, rather than at the end of, the PCR process, a feature that facilitates greater accuracy in important applications, including gene expression quantitation and genotyping.
QIAGEN N.V., a Netherlands holding company with subsidiaries in Germany, the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Italy, Australia, Norway, Austria, Canada, China, Sweden, and the Netherlands believes it is the world ' s leading provider of innovative enabling technologies and products for molecular diagnostics solutions and preanalytical sample preparation for the separation, purification and handling of nucleic acids and proteins. QIAGEN has developed a comprehensive portfolio of more than 320 proprietary, consumable products for nucleic acid and protein separation, purification and handling, nucleic acid amplification, as well as automated instrumentation, synthetic nucleic acid products and related services. QIAGEN ' s products are sold in more than 42 countries throughout the world to academic research markets and to leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. In addition, QIAGEN is positioning its products for sale into developing commercial markets, including applied testing markets, clinical research, nucleic acid-based molecular diagnostics, and genetic vaccination and gene therapy. QIAGEN employs more than 1,500 people worldwide. Further information on QIAGEN can be found at http://www.qiagen.com/.
About Applera Corporation and Applied Biosystems
Applera Corporation consists of two operating groups. The Applied Biosystems Group serves the life science industry and research community by developing and marketing instrument-based systems, consumables, software, and services. Customers use these tools to analyze nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), small molecules, and proteins to make scientific discoveries and develop new pharmaceuticals. Applied Biosystems' products also serve the needs of some markets outside of life science research, which we refer to as "applied markets," such as the fields of: human identity testing (forensic and paternity testing); biosecurity, which refers to products needed in response to the threat of biological terrorism and other malicious, accidental, and natural biological dangers; and quality and safety testing, for example in food and the environment. Applied Biosystems is headquartered in Foster City , CA , and reported sales of nearly $1.8 billion during fiscal 2005. The Celera Genomics Group (NYSE:CRA) is engaged principally in the discovery and development of targeted therapeutics for cancer, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Celera Genomics is leveraging its proteomic, bioinformatic, and genomic capabilities to identify and validate drug targets, and to discover and develop small molecule therapeutics. It is also seeking to advance therapeutic antibody and selected small molecule drug programs in collaboration with global technology and market leaders. Celera Diagnostics, a 50/50 joint venture between Applied Biosystems and Celera Genomics, is focused on discovery, development, and commercialization of diagnostic products. Information about Applera Corporation, including reports and other information filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, is available at http://www.applera.com/, or by telephoning 800.762.6923. Information about Applied Biosystems is available at http://www.appliedbiosystems.com/.
Copyright 2005. Applera Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Applied Biosystems, Celera, and AB (Design) are registered trademarks, and Applera, Celera Diagnostics, and Celera Genomics are trademarks of Applera Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U. S. and/or certain other countries.
Certain of the statements contained in this news release may be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. To the extent that any of the statements contained herein relating to QIAGEN ' s products, markets, strategy or operating results are forward-looking, such statements are based on current expectations that involve a number of uncertainties and risks. Such uncertainties and risks include, but are not limited to, risks associated with management of growth and international operations (including the effects of currency fluctuations and risks of dependency on logistics), variability of operating results, the commercial development of the applied testing markets, clinical research markets and proteomics markets, nucleic acid-based molecular diagnostics market, and genetic vaccination and gene therapy markets, competition, rapid or unexpected changes in technologies, fluctuations in demand for QIAGEN ' s, products ( including fluctuations due to the level and timing of customers' funding, budgets, and other factors ), difficulties in successfully adapting QIAGEN ' s products to integrated solutions and producing such products, the ability of QIAGEN to identify and develop new products and to differentiate its products from competitors' products, market acceptance of QIAGEN's new products, the integration of acquisitions of technologies and businesses, and the timing of product introductions by our commercial partners. For further information, refer to the discussions in reports that QIAGEN has filed with, or furnished to, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
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