QIAGEN to Supply Singapore Ministry of Health with Avian Flu Surveillance Solutions
Exclusive contract is the latest in a series of agreements with international institutions that monitor the spreading of the virus strain
Venlo, The Netherlands - January 8, 2008 - QIAGEN (Nasdaq: QGEN; Frankfurt, Prime Standard: QIA) today announced that it has been awarded an exclusive contract by the Singapore Ministry of Health to supply sample preparation solutions and molecular tests for the specific detection of Influenza H5N1 viruses - better known as avian flu.
For the country's Avian Influenza Preparedness Program QIAGEN provides both fully automated and manual sample preparation technologies for the extraction of viral nucleic acids. These are complemented by test kits for specific and sensitive detection of the highly pathogenic Avian Influenza strain. The contract runs for three years and the volume depends on minimum stockpiling levels as well as the level of intensity of the country's surveillance program.
The contract with the Singapore Ministry of Health is the latest supply agreement of QIAGEN with public and private institutions engaged in H5N1 surveillance. More than 80 institutes worldwide involved in the surveillance of avian flu infection use procedures and reagents developed and offered by QIAGEN.
"This new contract is proof not only of the strong confidence of public health organizations in the performance, quality and reliability of QIAGEN's products, but also of their trust in the capabilities we as a market leader can provide in terms of logistics and safety of supply. Our global infrastructure enables us to deliver high volumes of products within very short periods of time from multiple manufacturing sites", said Peer Schatz, CEO of QIAGEN. "We support the global community in its efforts to expand its early warning systems that can monitor changes in viral infection which could lead to a pandemic. QIAGEN is proud to expand this effort by making its products available also to the Singapore Ministry of Health's surveillance program."
The H5N1 virus occurs mainly in birds and has proven to be highly contagious. While the virus does not usually infect people, the avian flu has crossed the species barrier to infect humans. In addition, all influenza viruses have the ability to change and it is possible that in time, the avian flu could be able to infect humans and spread easily from one person to another. Currently, the avian flu is spreading throughout the world with increasing velocity, particularly the Asia-type, which features unusually high levels of persistency and pathogenicity. Should the virus encroach on humans, a following pandemic could lead to the deaths of between 2 and 7.4 million lives - according to estimates of the World Health Organization (WHO).
About QIAGEN and AVIAN Flu
QIAGEN's portfolio includes a specific avian flu (H5N1) detection kit targeting veterinary, import/export control and quarantine needs. This test was launched in 2004 in Asia and was the first product approved by a governmental authority specifically to detect avian flu (H5N1) in animals. The real-time RT-PCR detection methods for Avian Influenza Virus, jointly developed with the Beijing Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine, was approved as new National Standards by the China State Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision (CSBTS) and China Association for Standardization (CAS) for the Chinese markets in late 2005.
The artus Influenza/H5 LC RT-PCR kit, another avian flu testing solution provided by QIAGEN, is a rapid detection kit that combines two separate detection procedures: a test for influenza-A- and B-viruses, and a further step to determine whether certain genomic information of the sub-type H5N1 was detected. This test is based on so-called real time PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) technology, a method for amplification of genetic material. The test needs only 75 minutes to determine whether a sample carries the virus, while traditional methods require several days.
QIAGEN's influenza detection products are for research use only. They have not been cleared or approved by authorities including the United States Food and Drug Administration or any other regulatory agency in the United States and should not be used for human diagnostic or any other clinical purposes.
About Singapore's Avian Flu Program
The program is being coordinated by Singapore's Public Health Lab. Under the program, National University Hospital and KK Women's and Children's Hospital will receive automated extraction systems and diagnostic kits for the routine screening of patients' samples. Tan Tock Seng Hospital is adopting an alternative method by using generic QIAGEN One-Step RT-PCR kits for surveillance testing. A stockpile of three months supply of sample preparation and detection kits is maintained at QIAGEN Singapore at all times.
QIAGEN N.V., a Netherlands holding company is the leading provider of innovative sample and assay technologies and products. QIAGEN's products are considered standards in areas such pre-analytical sample preparation and assay solutions in research for life sciences, applied testing and molecular diagnostics. QIAGEN has developed a comprehensive portfolio of more than 500 proprietary, consumable products and automated solutions for sample collection, nucleic acid and protein handling, separation, and purification and open and target specific assays. The company's products are sold to academic research markets, to leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, to applied testing customers (such as in forensics, veterinary, biodefense and industrial applications) as well as to molecular diagnostics laboratories. QIAGEN employs more than 2,600 people worldwide. QIAGEN products are sold through a dedicated sales force and a global network of distributors in more than 40 countries. In this press release QIAGEN is using the term molecular diagnostics. The use of this term is in reference to certain countries, such as the United States, limited to products subject to regulatory requirements. Current QIAGEN molecular diagnostics products are 34 EU CE IVD assays, six EU CE IVD sample preparation products, one 510k PAX RNA product, nine China SFDA IVD assays and 98 general purpose reagents. Further information about QIAGEN can be found at http://www1.qiagen.com/about/InvestorRelation/corppres/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 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), our ability to obtain regulatory approval of our infectious disease panels, 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 acquired 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).
|Dr. Solveigh Mähler||Albert F. Fleury||Dr. Thomas Theuringer|
|Director Investor Relations||Investor Relations North America||Associate Director Public Relations|
|QIAGEN N.V.||QIAGEN N.V.||QIAGEN GmbH|
|+49 2103 29 11710||+1 301 944 7028||+49 2103 29 11826|
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