QIAGEN and Sequenom Enter Into a Collaboration Targeting Prenatal Diagnostics
Venlo, The Netherlands and San Diego, California, January 8, 2007 - QIAGEN GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of QIAGEN N.V. (Nasdaq: QGEN, Frankfurt, Prime Standard: QIA) and Sequenom, Inc. (Nasdaq: SQNM) today announced that they have entered into a strategic collaboration to jointly develop a gold standard preanalytical solution for small molecule (fetal) DNA enrichment for prenatal diagnostics. Sequenom will retain exclusive distribution rights to the specific technology for enriching short nucleic acids developed under this collaboration.
The collaboration will combine QIAGEN's world-class expertise in preanalytical sample preparation technologies in life sciences and molecular diagnostics with Sequenom's capabilities in genetic analysis technology. The primary goal of the collaboration is to develop a robust and reliable set of reagents that optimize the enrichment of small nucleic acid fragments, such as circulating free fetal nucleic acids in maternal plasma or serum, as well as short nucleic acids in blood, plasma or serum, for the analysis of cancer and other key disorders. The reagents are expected to provide complete and validated preanalytical solutions for research use with compatibility for potential future use in conjunction with in-vitro diagnostics (IVD).
Fetal DNA enrichment is the process of increasing the concentration of fetal DNA relative to maternal DNA from blood plasma or serum obtained from a simple blood draw from a pregnant woman. Robust fetal DNA enrichment is a key step for enabling certain non-invasive prenatal diagnostics. While robust enrichment of fetal DNA is not necessary for many non-invasive prenatal nucleic acid tests, such as tests for Rhesus D incompatibility, it is required for quantitative genomic tests such as tests for Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, and other phenotypes, conditions, or disease states.
"We are very much looking forward to contributing our expertise toward developing this important preanalytical technology for Sequenom's prenatal diagnostics program," said Peer Schatz, Chief Executive Officer at QIAGEN. "QIAGEN's QIAamp product line is the clear standard for processing DNA from maternal plasma to analyze fetal Rhesus D. Through this collaboration with Sequenom we expect to tailor and expand existing capabilities of our DNA processing expertise to provide a solution to routinely address tests for conditions such as cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, and Tay-Sachs, by non-invasive prenatal diagnostics."
Sequenom President and Chief Executive Officer Harry Stylli, Ph.D. commented, "We believe non- invasive molecular diagnostics modalities will play an increasingly important role in supporting a new generation of diagnostic products for a range of critical disorders. Sequenom intends to develop a viable and robust platform initially for non-invasive prenatal diagnostics that can be leveraged to other applications based on the detection and characterization of small nucleic acids. Our MassARRAY® technology's acutely high sensitivity and precision should be advantageous for enabling the development of the challenging tests that we are currently working on and plan to work on in the future. We are excited by the potential of this collaboration with QIAGEN and look forward to jointly developing solutions as a critical step in our non-invasive prenatal diagnostic commercialization plans."
QIAGEN N.V., a Netherlands holding company, is a leading provider of innovative technologies and products for pre-analytical sample preparation and molecular diagnostics solutions. QIAGEN has developed a comprehensive portfolio of more than 500 proprietary, consumable products and automated solutions for sample collection, and nucleic acid and protein handling, separation, and purification. QIAGEN also supplies diagnostic kits, tests, and assays for human and veterinary molecular diagnostics. The company's products are sold to academic research markets, and to leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies; as well as to diagnostics laboratories. QIAGEN also provides purification and testing solutions to applied testing markets: such as forensics, animal or food testing, and pharmaceutical process control.
QIAGEN employs more than 1,800 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 http://www.qiagen.com/
Sequenom is committed to providing the best genetic analysis products that translate genomic science into superior solutions for biomedical research, molecular medicine, agricultural applications, and non-invasive prenatal testing. Sequenom's proprietary MassARRAY system is a high-performance DNA analysis platform that efficiently and precisely measures the amount of genetic target material and variations therein. The system is able to deliver reliable and specific data from complex biological samples and from genetic target material that is only available in trace amounts. Sequenom has exclusively licensed intellectual property rights for the development and commercialization of non-invasive prenatal genetic tests for use with the MassARRAY system and other platforms.
Sequenom® and MassARRAY® are registered trademarks of Sequenom, Inc.
Except for the historical information contained in this press release, the matters set forth herein, including statements regarding the primary goal of the collaboration, expected results and solutions from the collaboration, the expected solutions provided by and potential future use of reagents developed under the collaboration, the role of non-invasive molecular diagnostics modalities in supporting a new generation of diagnostic products, the companies' intentions to develop products for non-invasive prenatal diagnostics that can be leveraged to other applications, and enabling the development of tests that Sequenom and/or QIAGEN are presently working on or plan to work on in the future, and Sequenom's plans to develop and commercialize prenatal genetic tests for use with its systems or other platforms are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially, including the risks associated with reliance upon the efforts of each of the companies and others, research and new technology development, product development and commercialization, competition, government regulation and obtaining regulatory approvals for diagnostic products, market acceptance, and other risks detailed from time to time in the companies' respective SEC filings, including Sequenom's Annual Report on Form 10-K and QIAGEN's Annual Report on Form 20-F, each for the year ended December 31, 2005, Sequenom's most recently filed quarterly report on Form 10-Q, QIAGEN's most recently furnished quarterly report on Form 6-K, and other documents subsequently filed with or furnished to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These forward-looking statements are based on current information that is likely to change. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, and neither Sequenom nor QIAGEN undertakes any obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the issuance of this press release.
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