QIAGEN Launches Novel Assay Technology for miRNA Targets
Innovative assay technology for miRNA adds a unique solution to QIAGEN's leading miRNA portfolio
Venlo, The Netherlands, May 7, 2007 - QIAGEN N.V. (Nasdaq: QGEN; Frankfurt, Prime Standard: QIA), the world's leading provider of sample and assay technologies for research in life sciences, applied testing and molecular diagnostics, today introduced a pioneering technology which creates a new dimension of capabilities for assays targeting microRNAs (miRNAs). miRNA-related research in academia, pharma and molecular diagnostics can be considered one of the most rapidly evolving fields in today's life sciences.
miRNAs are a newly discovered class of RNA molecules which have been found to play a significant role in the regulation of gene expression. Recent discoveries indicate that miRNAs can correlate with cancer and other diseases, sparking significant interest in today's life science and molecular diagnostics research. Despite the significant importance of this new class of RNA molecules, current methods for the isolation, identification and quantification of the presence of miRNA in biological samples are often cumbersome and imprecise.
QIAGEN today unveiled a unique solution which allows for the sensitive, specific and simultaneous detection and quantification of hundreds of different miRNAs as well as other RNAs (e.g. mRNA). The newly launched miScript product line incorporates a proprietary technology which for the first time enables researchers to identify multiple miRNAs from one single cDNA reaction in a given biological sample. cDNA is a synthesized copy of the RNA which is widely used for PCR-based target detection in molecular biology, biomedical and pharmaceutical research. The features offered by QIAGEN's proprietary miScript assay technology can equate to substantial time savings while allowing tremendous sensitivity and specificity.
"The new miRNA system marks a great step forward in miRNA research", said Dr. Constanze Kindler, Senior Product Manager at QIAGEN. "So far, researchers had to create a new copy of the DNA every time they wanted to detect a miRNA molecule. This often leads to inconsistent results and a waste of precious samples, such as cancer and tissue cells. miScript simply makes miRNA detection faster, more economical and convenient", Dr. Kindler added.
The new system expands QIAGEN's already broad portfolio of sample and assay technologies targeting the rapidly expanding field of miRNA and demonstrates the company's well established capabilities and leadership in the field of sample and assay technologies.
Together with QIAGEN's other sample and assay technologies products for miRNA such as with QIAGEN's miRNeasy kits, the new QIAGEN miScript system forms an integrated and comprehensive solution for the isolation and detection of miRNAs in hundreds of assays, which are available for the human, mouse and rat genome and which can easily be ordered via QIAGEN's web portal GeneGlobe.
About RNAi and miRNA:
RNAi is a mechanism which allows to turn "on" and "off" genes by regulating the formation (or expression) of proteins. Last year's 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 provider of innovative sample and assay technologies and products. QIAGEN's products are considered standards in pre-analytical sample preparation and assay solutions in research for life sciences, applied testing and molecular diagnostics. QIAGEN has developed a comprehensive portfolio of more than 500 proprietary consumable products and automated solutions for sample collection, nucleic acid and protein handling, separation, and purification and open and target-specific assays. QIAGEN's products are sold to academic research markets, to leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, to applied testing customers (such as in forensics, veterinary, biodefense and industrial applications) as well as to molecular diagnostics laboratories.
In this press release QIAGEN is using the term molecular diagnostics. The use of this term in certain countries, such as the United States, is limited to products subject to regulatory requirements. Current QIAGEN molecular diagnostics products are 34 EU CE IVD assays, six EU CE IVD sample preparation products, one 510k PAX RNA product, nine China SFDA IVD assays and 98 general purpose reagents.
QIAGEN employs more than 1,900 people worldwide. QIAGEN products are sold through a dedicated sales force and a global network of distributors in more than 40 countries. Further information about QIAGEN can be found at 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, 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 acquired 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.
Dr. Solveigh Mähler
Director of Investor Relations
+49 2103 2911 710