QIAGEN and VLA Enter Into Agreement in Veterinary Testing
Relationship targets significant expansion of QIAGEN's portfolio of molecular tests for infectious diseases in the veterinary market
Venlo, The Netherlands, October 02, 2006 --- QIAGEN N.V. (Nasdaq: QGEN; Frankfurt, Prime Standard: QIA), a leading provider of molecular diagnostics products and the world's premier supplier of solutions for preanalytical sample preparation, today announced that it has entered a strategic agreement with the British Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA), one of the world's leading laboratories in the field of veterinary testing.
As a part of this agreement, QIAGEN acquired a license to commercialize outside the United Kingdom a portfolio of selected PCR-based, veterinary molecular tests (assays) developed by VLA. This initial portfolio consists of seven PCR-based assays for infectious veterinary diseases affecting livestock such as cows and horses. VLA will validate the assays which are based on QIAGEN's preanalytical and assay technologies. In addition, QIAGEN will receive rights to future molecular assays for veterinary applications developed by VLA. VLA had already validated one QIAGEN assay for the detection of Mycobacterium p aratuberculosis, the causative agent for the usually fatal infection of Johne's disease in cattle.
"This partnership with VLA is very important to QIAGEN's molecular testing business in the veterinary markets. VLA's assay portfolio and assay development capabilities as well as its access to large volumes of sample materials allows QIAGEN to significantly expand its current assay portfolio and further leverage its well established leadership in molecular diagnostics into the growing market of veterinary testing applications", said Simone Gauch, Global Marketing Director Applied Testing at QIAGEN. "QIAGEN is a leading provider of molecular testing solutions into the veterinary market. More than 80 institutions around the globe use the company's testing procedures in the surveillance of infectious veterinary diseases. QIAGEN e xpects to launch first products resulting from the collaboration with VLA in mid 2007."
QIAGEN's veterinary testing business is organized as a subsegment of QIAGEN's Applied Testing segment which also includes rapidly growing application areas such as forensics, biodefense, quality control and others. The veterinary testing market is a US$100 million market which is assumed to be growing annually at a rate of more than 20%.
The VLA portfolio includes tests for a number of veterinary diseases such as Bovine Viral Diarrhoea-Virus (BVDV). For example BVDV which is closely related to the Classical Swine-Fever-Virus, creates significant economic damages to the agricultural sectors in many countries world-wide. Large numbers of BVDV infections occur without symptoms and thus remain unnoticed by farmers who do not test for this disease. Some variations such as mucosal disease are almost always lethal.
"We are pleased to have found such a strong partner for the global distribution of our molecular, veterinary tests", said Professor Steve Edwards, Chief Executive of VLA "For a large number of infectious diseases, PCR-based methods have significant advantages over conventional techniques and are therefore rapidly gaining acceptance. The VLA is pleased to be able to share with laboratories across the world the validated PCR tests that VLA has developed for support of the UK livestock industry and Government animal health programs."
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/.
VLA is an Executive Agency of the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and is a regional network of 16 laboratories. The Agency is one of the largest research and diagnostic testing facilities of its kind in the world. Its aim is to safeguard public and animal health through world class research and surveillance of farmed livestock. VLA is one of the world's most renowned reference laboratories for a wide range for diseases in farm animals. More information on VLA can be found at http://www.vla.gov.uk/.
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 and the integration of acquisitions of 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).
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