QIAGEN and U.K. alliance launch APIS Assay Technologies to expand biomarker research and foster healthcare innovation
Public private partnership strengthens Greater Manchester’s role as major hub for genomic research and industry in Europe
Manchester, United Kingdom, and Hilden, Germany, May 23, 2019 – QIAGEN and leading U.K.-based organizations today launched APIS Assay Technologies Ltd., a company that aims to improve the success rate of biomarker commercialization by bridging the translational gap that often exists between the discovery of genomic markers and industry’s development of new diagnostics.
APIS will help realize the clinical and commercial potential of genomic medicine in diagnostics and the stratification of treatment, and in the prediction and prevention of disease. Using the transformational power of genomic medicine and big data, APIS will address directly hurdles that have so far hampered biomarker translation and commercialization. Positioned to benefit from the devolution of NHS expenditures to Greater Manchester, APIS will act as an industry partner of Health Innovation Manchester, a partnership that unites the region’s entire spectrum of public, academic and clinical resources, intending to bring the benefits of novel, transformational molecular diagnostics to Greater Manchester and into the global healthcare market.
The company’s business model is based on three pillars: a biomarker industrial research program, the “fast-tracking” of biomarkers and diagnostic platforms for market sale, as well as contract development. The partnership underlines QIAGEN’s role as a U.K.’s flagship industry partner, with a key role in creating Manchester as a major hub for genomic research and industry in Europe.
The company is led by a team of former employees from leading diagnostic companies and clinical laboratories from the United Kingdom and the United States, providing more than 100 years of combined experience in biomarker research and diagnostics development. “We are very excited about the challenge that lies ahead. APIS combines scientific talent, unique development expertise and cutting edge technology, helping us bring molecular diagnostics to patients around the globe,” Ian Kavanagh, Chief Operating Officer of APIS, said.
Currently, APIS has three tests in development, including a test for prognostic breast cancer diagnostics. APIS hopes to use the insights gained in oncology to expand its diagnostics services to other disease areas such as liver and lung diseases, pharmacogenomics and reproductive diagnostics, using multiple technology platforms, such as PCR and NGS, and a wide range of sample types, from tissue to liquid biopsies. The company is currently actively in talks with a number of pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies about establishing partnerships.
APIS is based on Manchester’s global genomics campus, announced last year, to further drive the evolution of innovation, life sciences, translational science and molecular diagnostics. APIS currently has 26 employees and plans to expand to around 50 employees by end of this year. Based on its recent growth QAGEN’s Manchester operation plans to move in 2020 into a new state-of-the-art facility, Citylabs 2.0, which will be located at the heart of the new genomics campus. QIAGEN’s Manchester site remains central to the company’s short-term and long-term strategic plans for global innovation and development. QIAGEN currently has about 270 employees in Manchester and is committed to further growth.
“Our shared vision is to create a globally leading genomics campus for innovation, translational science and molecular diagnostics, employing over 1,500 highly skilled people “, said Rowena Burns, Chair of Health Innovation Manchester. “This is a major development for life sciences in Manchester – and across the North – and a testament to our long-standing history of forming public-private partnerships to support the creation of jobs, growth, address the health needs of local people, while also making an important international contribution to improved diagnosis and treatment of disease.”
“We’re proud that QIAGEN was selected as a partner to create this innovative new company APIS, which we believe has the potential to accelerate scientific discovery and drive the development of valuable molecular tests. We believe that this partnership with the great scientific and clinical expertise and capacities found in Manchester will accelerate molecular biomarker research, leading to the development of new and promising diagnostic assays,” said Peer M. Schatz, Chief Executive Officer of QIAGEN. “This collaborative initiative can serve as an incubator for translating genomic biomarkers into clinical use. We are certain that the people of greater Manchester and patients all over the world will benefit from advanced diagnostic insights.” QIAGEN has been part of Manchester’s scientific community for the past decade, during which its Manchester operation became the company’s global hub for diagnostics development and key to its global success. QIAGEN is sure its co-operation with APIS will benefit from QIAGEN’s long experience of working in and with Manchester.
The genomics campus will be part of a dynamic health and science cluster based in Northern England. Major pharmaceutical and diagnostics companies are based in this region. QIAGEN and Health Innovation Manchester together developed this world-leading genomics campus in the heart of Manchester’s health innovation district, anchored by QIAGEN’s European Centre of Excellence for Precision Medicine.
QIAGEN is a pioneer in Precision Medicine and the global leader in collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to co-develop companion diagnostics, which detect clinically relevant genetic variants to provide insights that guide clinical decision-making in diseases such as cancer. QIAGEN has an unmatched depth and breadth of technologies from next-generation sequencing (NGS) to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for companion diagnostic development. Currently, QIAGEN is working under master collaboration agreements with more than 25 companies to develop and commercialize companion diagnostic tests for their drug candidates – a deep pipeline of potential future products to advance Precision Medicine for the benefit of patients.
QIAGEN N.V., a Netherlands-based holding company, is the leading global provider of Sample to Insight solutions that enable customers to gain valuable molecular insights from samples containing the building blocks of life. Our sample technologies isolate and process DNA, RNA and proteins from blood, tissue and other materials. Assay technologies make these biomolecules visible and ready for analysis. Bioinformatics software and knowledge bases interpret data to report relevant, actionable insights. Automation solutions tie these together in seamless and cost-effective workflows. QIAGEN provides solutions to more than 500,000 customers around the world in Molecular Diagnostics (human healthcare) and Life Sciences (academia, pharma R&D and industrial applications, primarily forensics). As of March 31, 2019, QIAGEN employed approximately 5,100 people in over 35 locations worldwide. Further information can be found at www.qiagen.com