QIAGEN Significantly Expands its Portfolio of Licenses to real-time PCR
Two New Licenses Added to Technology Portfolio targeting Molecular Diagnostics
VENLO, The Netherlands, February 12, 2007 - QIAGEN N.V. (Nasdaq: QGEN, Frankfurt, Prime Standard: QIA), the worldwide leading provider of sample and assay technologies for research in life sciences, applied testing and molecular diagnostics today announced that it has acquired licenses from Roche, as well as from Ortho Clinical Diagnostics. These two license agreements significantly expand QIAGEN's rights to real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for use in In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD). Financial terms were not disclosed.
The two separate and independent agreements provide QIAGEN with access to a major portfolio of additional patent and marketing rights, which were not covered by the original licensing agreements with Roche. Through these agreements QIAGEN is broadening its technology portfolio to assay technologies and diagnostic tests using almost any basic PCR patent and real-time PCR patent rights related to reagents and methods for practicing PCR and real-time PCR for IVD.
Through the license extension agreement with Roche QIAGEN is now licensed under all real- time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) patents and pending patent applications owned or controlled by Roche Diagnostics, a division of F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Basel, Switzerland. The agreement with Roche includes, but is not limited to, additional enzyme patent rights further PCR improvement patent rights and pathogen specific patent rights.
In addition, QIAGEN obtained a license from Ortho Clinical Diagnostics to patents related to a taq-polymerase antibody mediated method used to initiate PCR. This is often referred to as a "Hot-Start" technology because it accelerates the activation of PCR enzymes and thereby accelerates the start of the PCR process. The license gives QIAGEN rights in the fields of in research, applied testing and IVD.
"Real-time PCR is the most widely accepted technology for the quantitative amplification and detection of nucleic acids and has become a strong standard in life sciences, applied testing and molecular diagnostics." said Achim Ribbe, QIAGEN's Executive Director Corporate Business Development. "The acquisition of these new patent licensing rights, together with our own PCR related intellectual property rights, creates for QIAGEN what is probably the broadest license portfolio for the basic patent rights related to reagents and methods for practicing PCR and real-time PCR and related products. These additional licenses bring to QIAGEN valuable assets which expand QIAGEN's technology leadership in sample and assay technologies for the life sciences, applied testing and molecular diagnostics."
The polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, is today considered one of the most widely used technologies in molecular biology. Invented by Kary Mullis in 1983, he received a Nobel Prize for his discoveries in 1993. Today, PCR is the most frequently used technique in many areas of basic and applied research in molecular biology, biochemistry, and medicine, and is used in many applications, including detection and quantification of DNA and RNA targets in research, applied testing and molecular diagnostics.
PCR is a method for amplification of specific nucleic acid sequences from a complex mixture of nucleic acids. The DNA in a sample is separated into single strands through heating, and each strand acts as a template for enzymatic extension of the missing complementary strand. The beginning and end of the amplified segment are defined through the addition of short, highly specific DNA molecules, known as primers. This replication cycle is repeated many times, leading to exponential amplification of individual segments of DNA.
In real-time PCR, a specific sequence of DNA is amplified and quantified. The amplified sequence binds to a fluorescence which is measured. This allows calculation of the original amount of the sequence. Real-time PCR takes place in a real-time thermal cycler, which provides the appropriate temperatures for the different steps of each amplification cycle and also measures fluorescence.
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 1,900 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, three 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://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).
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