QIAGEN has Licensed a Novel Algorithm Developed by Novartis Pharma AG for the Selection of Potent siRNA Sequences for Gene Silencing Applications
Dec 15 2003

QIAGEN has Licensed a Novel Algorithm Developed by Novartis Pharma AG for the Selection of Potent siRNA Sequences for Gene Silencing Applications

Venlo, The Netherlands, December 15, 2003 - QIAGEN N.V. (Nasdaq: QGENF; Frankfurt, Prime Standard: QIA) the leading supplier of products and technologies for nucleic acid separation, purification and handling today announced that it has licensed from Novartis Pharma AG a novel algorithm for the selection of highly functional target sequences for RNA interference applications. More than 3000 randomly designed synthetic siRNA duplexes, against 34 targets were analyzed for functionality. Based on this large data set, an automated siRNA sequence selection algorithm was developed. Extensive evaluation of the new algorithm has demonstrated a significant performance improvement over existing design methods.

Under the terms of this collaboration QIAGEN obtained a fully paid-up license from Novartis for the worldwide use of this prediction algorithm. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"We are very happy that Novartis has made this new resource available to QIAGEN", said Patrick A. Weiss, QIAGEN's Vice President of Gene Silencing and co-inventor of the TOM RNA chemistry. "This powerful tool complements QIAGEN's state of the art synthesis technology, combining biological functionality with high quality siRNA. This means that researchers can focus on their experiments and not on developing functional gene targeting reagents."


About QIAGEN in RNAi:

RNAi is a powerful discovery tool for biomedical research, allowing researchers to rapidly and specifically turn off or "silence" a specific gene to study the impact on a cell or organism. QIAGEN's patented siRNA synthesis based on TOM-amidite in combination with QIAGEN's Robotic Platforms, RNA transfection technologies, and RNA/protein analytical tools provide a fully integrated solution for the functional genomics market.

QIAGEN N.V., a Netherlands holding company with subsidiaries in Germany, the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Italy, Australia, Norway, Austria and Canada, believes it is the world's leading provider of innovative enabling technologies and products for the separation, purification and handling of nucleic acids. The Company has developed a comprehensive portfolio of more than 320 proprietary, consumable products for nucleic acid separation, purification and handling, nucleic acid amplification, as well as automated instrumentation, synthetic nucleic acid products and related services. QIAGEN's products are sold in more than 42 countries throughout the world to academic research markets and to leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. In addition, the Company is positioning its products for sale into developing commercial markets, including DNA sequencing and genomics, nucleic acid-based molecular diagnostics, and genetic vaccination and gene therapy. QIAGEN employs approximately 1,600 people worldwide. Further information on 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 and markets and 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 DNA sequencing, genomics and synthetic nucleic acid-related 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 seasonal fluctuations), 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, and the integration of acquisitions of technologies and businesses. For further information, refer to the discussion in reports that QIAGEN has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).



Peer M. Schatz
Chief Financial Officer
+49 2103 29 11702
e-mail: peer.schatz@QIAGEN.com

Dr. Solveigh Mähler
Manager Investor Relations
+49 2103 29 11710
e-mail: solveigh.maehler@QIAGEN.com

Dr. Ulrich Schriek
VP Corporate Business Development
+49 2103 29 11238


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