QIAGEN joins Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative to bring advanced point-of-care diagnostics to world’s poorest countries
- Point-of-Care Diagnostics Initiative is part of Grand Challenges in Global Health program funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Grand Challenges Canada
- QIAGEN's expertise and technologies will aid effort to create a low-cost portable testing platform for molecular diagnostics in the developing world
- Development expected to be completed by 2014, enabling rapid integration of tests and transfer into clinical practice to save lives and reduce burden from infectious diseases
Germantown, Maryland, and Hilden, Germany, May 3, 2012 - QIAGEN N.V. (NASDAQ: QGEN; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) today announced it has joined the Point-of-Care Diagnostics (POC Dx) Initiative led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Grand Challenges Canada to create a new molecular diagnostics platform to serve resource-poor regions of the world.
QIAGEN has already started the development of a portable instrument based on its advanced molecular testing technologies for Point of Need applications. The development of affordable and portable diagnostic systems is one of the 16 "Grand Challenges in Global Health," an initiative that seeks to enhance healthcare in the world's poorest countries.
QIAGEN is joining more than 20 nonprofit, academic and corporate organizations in the POC Dx Initiative, which aims to catalyze a "diagnostics revolution" for the developing world. The goal of this initiative is to create new platforms that enable high-quality, low-cost point-of-care diagnosis and thereby make systematic and sustainable improvements in healthcare in the developing world.
QIAGEN's role is to develop an easy-to-use, portable molecular testing device that can perform diagnostic tests in the field, far from hospital or laboratory infrastructure. This task also encompasses the creation of a corresponding assay technology suited for use in low-resource settings. This project is part of the technology development phase of the POC Dx initiative, which will then integrate successful technologies into a multifunctional point-of-care platform. The POC Dx Initiative targets a broad array of related projects, such as putting together standards for diagnostics best suited to remote and impoverished settings, creating components such as low-cost devices to collect blood samples, or planning for the future integration of diagnostics into delivery of care in these areas.
"We are pleased to further expand our collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help bring the power of advanced molecular diagnostics to battle infectious and other diseases in developing regions. The new low-cost portable testing devices currently under development are intended to enable reliable, quick diagnosis and timelier treatment of patients. We believe that modern diagnostic technologies can have a very significant positive impact on developing countries, helping to save lives, reduce economic impacts, and curtail the spread of infectious diseases," said Dr. Ellen Sheets, Chief Medical Officer of QIAGEN. "QIAGEN has already placed thousands of Point of Need testing devices which are being used in a variety of applications in Molecular Diagnostics and Applied Testing. This experience will be instrumental in developing a new platform designed especially for the healthcare needs of developing countries and low-resource regions."
"The Point-of-Care Diagnostics Initiative seeks to transform the way we diagnose and treat patients in the world's poorest countries," said Gene Walther, Deputy Director Diagnostics at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "We hope that these groundbreaking ideas lead to new tools that can quickly diagnose disease and accelerate access to lifesaving health interventions for those in greatest need."
Through its own QIAGENcares program, QIAGEN is working on multiple fronts to improve access to screening for infectious diseases in emerging countries. QIAGEN has previously collaborated with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and PATH, an international nonprofit organization, in developing the careHPV Test, a state-of-the-art diagnostic specifically designed for low-resource settings to screen women for human papillomavirus (HPV), the primary cause of cervical cancer. The careHPV Test can be performed without access to a laboratory infrastructure and offers results in a few hours, a critical feature for women who travel to clinics from isolated villages and need to be treated the same day.
QIAGEN collaborates with a number of public health and nonprofit agencies to make its HPV screening technologies available in resource-poor areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America. In Applied Testing, the company is collaborating with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in a pilot project designed to contain devastating animal diseases in developing countries using portable testing devices provided by QIAGEN.
QIAGEN N.V., a Netherlands holding company, is the leading global provider of Sample & Assay Technologies that are used to transform biological materials into valuable molecular information. Sample technologies are used to isolate and process DNA, RNA and proteins from biological samples such as blood or tissue. Assay technologies are then used to make these isolated biomolecules visible and ready for interpretation. QIAGEN markets more than 500 products around the world, selling both consumable kits and automation systems to customers through four customer classes: Molecular Diagnostics (human healthcare), Applied Testing (forensics, veterinary testing and food safety), Pharma (pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies) and Academia (life sciences research). As of March 31, 2012, QIAGEN employed approximately 3,900 people in over 35 locations worldwide. Further information 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, including without limitation its expected operating results, are forward-looking, such statements are based on current expectations and assumptions 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, regulatory processes and dependence on logistics), variability of operating results and allocations between customer classes, the commercial development of markets for our products in applied testing, personalized healthcare, clinical research, proteomics, women's health/HPV testing and nucleic acid-based molecular diagnostics; 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 general economic conditions, the level and timing of customers' funding, budgets and other factors); our ability to obtain regulatory approval of our products; 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 and protect our products from competitors' products; market acceptance of QIAGEN's new products, the consummation of acquisitions, and the integration of acquired technologies and businesses. For further information, please refer to the discussions in reports that QIAGEN has filed with, or furnished to, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).