QIAGEN Acquires RNAture’s Portfolio of Nucleic Acid Purification Products from Hitachi Chemical Research Center, Inc.
Products Address High-Throughput mRNA Purification for Gene Expression Analysis
Venlo, The Netherlands - May 2, 2005 - QIAGEN N.V. (NASDAQ: QGEN; Frankfurt, Prime Standard: QIA), the world's leading provider of innovative enabling technologies and products for the separation, purification and handling of nucleic acids and proteins today announced the acquisition of the world-wide, exclusive rights and licenses to manufacture and market the complete portfolio of RNAture's nucleic acid isolation products from Hitachi Chemical Research Center, Inc. RNAture, Inc., is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi Chemical Research Center, Inc. Pursuant to the companies' agreement Hitachi Chemical Research will transfer all current commercial operations to QIAGEN.
QIAGEN believes the RNAture product line and associated technology to be a natural extension of QIAGEN's world leading technology portfolio for preanalytical sample preparation. QIAGEN today markets a broad portfolio of preanalytical solutions for RNA analysis and the RNAture product line addresses a unique segment of this large market. In combination with QIAGEN consumable and automation technologies, the RNAture solutions have the potential to provide a new dimension of value to QIAGEN customers in high-throughput gene expression analysis and siRNA in research and drug development. Financial details were not disclosed. QIAGEN does not expect a material change to its outlook for 2005 based on this transaction as the products are still in an early stage of introduction.
RNAture's product portfolio focuses on mRNA isolation products and comprises solutions for rapid, efficient and specific capture of cellular poly(A)+ RNA in the wells of specially-treated microplates. The products for medium, high and ultra high-throughput demands are currently marketed under the brand name GenePlate®. GenePlate® employs a unique immobilization technology to coat surfaces with oligonucleotides which allow rapid and direct capturing of target mRNA. The direct selection of poly(A)+ RNA provides researchers with a more defined mRNA sample, which leads to improved sensitivity and reproducibility. The technology allows mRNA isolation, cDNA synthesis and PCR in the same well in three different formats: 8-well stripes, 96-well and 384-well plates. RNAture's products provide an easy-to-use and cost effective method for direct mRNA isolation and cDNA synthesis in an automation-friendly design for simplify high-throughput target validation, gene-expression analysis and compound screening.
Gene Silencing, or RNA interference (RNAi) uses target-specific sequences of short interfering RNA molecules (siRNA molecules) to knock-down, or "silence" targeted genes to infer their function. RNAi is a developing technology used for target validation and compound screening in drug development as well as for studying gene expression analysis in academic and clinical research. The new product line based on RNAture's purification technology for mRNA also is expected to seamlessly integrate into QIAGEN's broad gene silencing product portfolio. The speed and ease-of-use of mRNA isolation with this technology makes it a perfect tool for simple and reproducible medium- to ultra high-throughput RNAi experiments.
"We are very pleased to add an attractive platform technology for specific RNA molecule selection to our leading product portfolio in preanalytical sample management," said Dr. Ulrich Schriek, QIAGEN's Vice President Corporate Business Development. "The technology is highly automation-friendly, minimizes well-to-well and plate-to-plate variability and standardizes the purification and assay procedure in these applications as preparation and assay are possible in the same plate."
QIAGEN N.V., a Netherlands holding company with subsidiaries in Germany, the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Italy, Australia, Norway, Austria, Canada, Sweden, and the Netherlands believes it is the world's leading provider of innovative enabling technologies and products for the separation, purification and handling of nucleic acids and proteins. QIAGEN has developed a comprehensive portfolio of more than 320 proprietary, consumable products for nucleic acid and protein 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, QIAGEN is positioning its products for sale into developing commercial markets, including DNA sequencing and genomics, applied markets, nucleic acid-based molecular diagnostics, and genetic vaccination and gene therapy. QIAGEN employs more than 1,300 people worldwide. Further information on QIAGEN 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 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 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 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, market acceptance of QIAGEN's new products and the integration of acquired technologies and businesses. For further information, refer to the discussion in reports that QIAGEN has filed with, or furnished to, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
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