QIAGEN Introduces Novel Tools for miRNA Analysis
Company expands portfolio by adding four new sample and assay solutions for this rapidly emerging area of molecular research
Venlo, The Netherlands - June 25, 2008 - QIAGEN (Nasdaq: QGEN; Frankfurt, Prime Standard: QIA) today announced the launch of four new research products for the processing and analysis of microRNA (miRNA). miRNA are short nucleic acid molecules which are considered to play key roles in gene regulation processes and also have significant implications in various diseases such as cancer. QIAGEN's new product offerings add significant capabilities to biomedical research directed towards the identification of new molecular disease targets, pharma and academic research. The products meet the growing need for ready-to-use, convenient and reliable sample and assay technologies for miRNA applications and are expected to advance scientific research in this important area of study.
As of today, scientists have identified more than 820 different miRNA molecules within the human body, and the number is still rapidly growing. These molecules have been found to be key variables in the regulation of gene activity in cells by influencing the translation of genes into proteins as their functional equivalents within cells - thus also being part of a broader process known as RNA interference (RNAi). Therefore, miRNA molecules can affect both the normal development and differentiation processes in healthy tissue and the emergence of diseases.
Current research mainly focuses on analyzing the expression and the function of various miRNA molecules, as one molecule can regulate the activity of multiple different genes and one gene can be regulated by many different miRNAs. In this context, miRNA molecules are becoming increasingly interesting both as potential therapeutic and diagnostic targets. Studies have already shown that various diseases including several types of cancer and cardiovascular diseases are associated with unusual or specific miRNA molecules or levels.
QIAGEN's new product offerings include both synthetic miRNA molecules and miRNA inhibitors which can be used to study the function of the molecules by either amplifying or inhibiting normal miRNA activity in a given cell environment and thereby inferring the function of the miRNA molecule of interest. QIAGEN's library of available mimic miRNA molecules and inhibitors covers all currently decoded human, rat and mouse miRNA molecules. Along with the mimic molecules and inhibitors, QIAGEN also offers a kit for their delivery into various cell types. Moreover, the expanded product range includes customizable assays for the reliable detection and quantification of a wide range of miRNA molecules found in humans, rats and mice. QIAGEN's miScript Primer PCR Assays are individually designed according to specifications provided by the customers in applied molecular biology, pharmaceutical industry and academic research to study the expression of newly discovered miRNA molecules.
"We believe that these new QIAGEN products have the potential to represent important contributions to the rapidly growing area of miRNA research. The expansion of our leading portfolio for this exciting field underlines our commitment to this growing area of research and further strengthens our position as a leading provider of sample and assay technologies for miRNA research," explains Constanze Kindler, QIAGEN's Senior Global Product Manager Transfection. "The new products significantly facilitate entire miRNA workflows, giving researchers powerful and convenient tools to study even newly discovered miRNA molecules, which is of particular importance in this fast growing field."
QIAGEN markets a broad portfolio of sample and assay technologies for the study of various gene regulation mechanisms and gene function including DNA, RNA, miRNA, siRNA and epigenetics. Among others, the portfolio includes a RNA interference (RNAi) set for cancer genes, siRNA molecules for the entire human genome and the miScript technology allowing for the simultaneous detection and quantification of hundreds of different miRNA molecules.
These QIAGEN miRNA products are intended for research use. No claim or representation is intended for its use to provide information for the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of a disease.
About RNAi and miRNA:
RNAi is a mechanism which allows to turn "on" and "off" genes by regulating the formation (or expression) of proteins. In 2006, the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to Craig C. Mello and Andrew Z. Fire for research in the field of RNAi. Like its synthetic cousin molecule siRNA, the naturally found small microRNA, which is not bigger than 24 base pairs, is assumed to play a key role in this process. miRNAs correlate with various cancers and diseases and seem to be formed in DNA regions called introns, which until very recently were considered to have no specific function. Today, researchers believe that these regions are subject to accelerated genetic variation and help explain what genetically separates human beings from much less complex organisms, which are endowed with a similar number of genes.
Since microRNA have been discovered very recently, the market is still small, but it is growing exponentially and can be considered one of the most rapidly evolving fields in today's life sciences. Estimates show that the global RNAi market could grow annually up to 30 percent, and that it could reach US$ 330 million in worldwide revenues by 2010. QIAGEN believes it is the market and technology leader in RNAi products used in many fields, including in pharmaceutical research.
QIAGEN N.V., a Netherlands holding company, is the leading global provider of sample and assay technologies. Sample technologies are used to isolate and process DNA, RNA and proteins from biological samples such as blood or tissue. Assay technologies are used to make isolated biomolecules visible for study. QIAGEN has developed and markets more than 500 consumable products as well as automated solutions. The company provides its products to molecular diagnostics laboratories, academic researchers, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and applied testing customers for purposes such as forensics, animal or food testing and pharmaceutical process control. QIAGEN's assay technologies include one of the broadest panels of molecular diagnostic tests available worldwide. This panel includes the only FDA-approved test for human papillomavirus (HPV), the primary cause of cervical cancer. QIAGEN employs more than 2,700 people in over 30 locations worldwide. Further information about QIAGEN can be found at http://www.qiagen.com/.
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, women's health/HPV testing markets, nucleic acid-based molecular diagnostics market, and genetic vaccination and gene therapy markets, changing relationships with customers, suppliers and strategic partners, 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), our ability to obtain regulatory approval of our infectious disease panels, 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 and the integration of acquired technologies and businesses. 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).