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Press Release

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QIAGEN Adds to COVID-19 Portfolio With New Ultra-Fast Sequencing Solution for High-Throughput Genomic Surveillance

April 6, 2021
  • QIAseq DIRECT SARS-CoV-2 Kit halves both library preparation times and plasticware use
  • Kit supports analysis of over 6,000 samples simultaneously on highest-throughput sequencers
  • Integrates with QIAGEN Digital Insights cloud solutions to support variant detection and reporting including clade and lineage annotations across sequencing platforms

QIAGEN N.V. (NYSE:QGEN; Frankfurt Prime Standard:QIA) today announced the launch of QIAseq DIRECT SARS-CoV-2 Kit, a viral genome enrichment and library preparation solution that significantly reduces library turnaround times and plastics use compared with ARTIC project protocols (primer-based approaches for next-generation sequencing (NGS)). The lab and bioinformatic protocols of the ARTIC network, an initiative funded by the Wellcome Trust, are considered the gold standard in NGS-based characterization of SARS-CoV-2 genomes.

High-throughput NGS is increasingly being used to conduct genomic surveillance and research on new and potentially dangerous COVID-19 variants that continue to emerge. These viral mutations have become an area of intense concern particularly with regard to vaccine efficacy. As a result, sequencing laboratories worldwide have come under intense pressure to provide results as quickly as possible.

QIAseq DIRECT SARS-CoV-2 supports sample multiplexing with up to 768 Dual Molecular Indices - unique markers tagged to molecules in a sample to eliminate errors from downstream analysis - in a library preparation workflow from extracted viral RNA that reduces turnaround time to as little as four hours. This also increases the amount of samples per sequencer to over 6,000 samples on the highest-throughput instruments. The kit also cuts plastics usage by 50%, drastically reduces hands-on time, requires no fragmentation or ligation reactions and can be readily automated with robotic liquid handlers. The viral enrichment approach delivers superior uniformity of coverage across the SARS-CoV-2 genome as well as deeper sequencing performance compared with the most widely used amplicon-based options.

“QIAseq DIRECT SARS-CoV-2 is a powerful solution that will increase the efficiency and output of NGS at a time when global expectations to perform could not be higher,” said Thomas Schweins, Senior Vice President of the Business Area Life Sciences of QIAGEN. “This kit is an important extension of our QIAseq range, that allows for more accurate detection and quantification of molecular variants, while drastically reducing the time and workflow steps needed for library preparation, increasing lab efficiency and throughput.”

An additional pressure point for laboratories is the analysis and interpretation of the large and rapidly collected viral datasets. The QIAseq DIRECT SARS-CoV-2 kit is supported by the new QIAGEN Digital Insights CoV-2 Insights Service, a cloud-based solution tailored to viral genome analysis, characterization and reporting. The service is designed for large-scale surveillance applications and is available globally. It offers Whole Genome Sequencing variant analysis, identification and standardized reporting of community-based standards essential for high-throughput genomic surveillance, as well as fast and easy set up.

QIAGEN has built up one of the most comprehensive SARS-CoV-2 research and testing portfolios. It includes sample preparation innovations like QIAprep&amp, syndromic testing solution QIAstat-Dx, high throughput PCR with NeuMoDx, QIAreach digital Antibody and Antigen tests and T-Cell research solutions based on QIAGEN’s QuantiFERON IGRA technology. The company continues to add novel solutions to support laboratories combatting the pandemic and to provide experts with tools to learn more about the virus and drive research forward.

For an overview of QIAGEN’s coronavirus testing solutions, please visit http://www.qiagen.com/coronavirus.

To explore QIAGEN’s NGS-specific solutions for COVID-19 research, please visit https://www.qiagen.com/us/products/next-generation-sequencing/rna-sequencing/qiaseq-direct-sars-cov-2-kits/.

About QIAGEN

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 December 31, 2020, QIAGEN employed approximately 5,600 people in over 35 locations worldwide. Further information can be found at http://www.qiagen.com.

Forward-Looking Statement

Certain statements contained in this press 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, including those products used in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, timing for launch and development, marketing and/or regulatory approvals, financial and operational outlook, growth and expansion, collaborations markets, strategy or operating results, including without limitation its expected adjusted net sales and adjusted diluted earnings results, are forward-looking, such statements are based on current expectations and assumptions 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, regulatory processes and dependence on logistics), variability of operating results and allocations between customer classes, the commercial development of markets for our products to customers in academia, pharma, applied testing and molecular diagnostics; changing relationships with customers, suppliers and strategic partners; competition; rapid or unexpected changes in technologies; fluctuations in demand for QIAGEN's products (including fluctuations due to general economic conditions, the level and timing of customers' funding, budgets and other factors); our ability to obtain regulatory approval of our products; 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 and protect our products from competitors' products; market acceptance of QIAGEN's new products and the integration of acquired technologies and businesses; actions of governments, global or regional economic developments, weather or transportation delays, natural disasters, political or public health crises, including the breadth and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the demand for our products and other aspects of our business, or other force majeure events; as well as the possibility that expected benefits related to recent or pending acquisitions may not materialize as expected; and the other factors discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” contained in Item 3 of our most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F. For further information, please refer to the discussions in reports that QIAGEN has filed with, or furnished to, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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