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09 October 2019 01:48

Qiagen Stock Chief Executive

Qiagen and Illumina in It for the Long Haul with 15-year Collaboration

The two companies announced a 15-year partnership to broaden the availability and use of NGS-based in-vitro diagnostic kits, including companion diagnostics, for patient management. Initially, the partnership will focus on commercializing oncology IVD kits to support patient management. The agreement grants Hilden, Germany-based Qiagen non-exclusive rights to develop and globally commercialize IVD kits to be used together with Illumina's MiSeq Dx and NextSeq 550Dx Systems. Both partners are also exploring opportunities for Qiagen to develop and market companion diagnostics based on San Diego-based Illumina's TruSight Oncology (TSO) assays that enable comprehensive genomic profiling of tumor samples in immunotherapy. In the future, the collaboration could expand to include additional clinical diagnostic fields, such as cardiology, hereditary diseases, infectious diseases, as well as inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

"We are committed to expanding the range of clinical use cases addressed by genomic sequencing by enabling partners to deliver IVD tests and companion diagnostics on Illumina's Dx instruments," Francis deSouza, CEO of Illumina, said in a release. "Bringing together our highly complementary capabilities marks an important milestone to advance the use of NGS technologies in clinical decision-making and our shared vision of using this powerful technology to improve the outcomes for patients worldwide," Peer Schatz, CEO of Qiagen, said in a release. Qiagen also announced that Schatz would be stepping down as CEO and transitioning to the role of a special advisor to the company's supervisory board. Thierry Bernard, senior VP, Head of Molecular Diagnostics Business Area for Qiagen, will now act as interim CEO and work in tandem with Roland Sackers, CFO until a permanent replacement for Schatz can be found. The group suffered a triple blow – disappointing third-quarter results and the shuttering of its GeneReader next-generation sequencing technology were capped with the departure of its long-standing chief executive.

The other, more positive announcement the company made, of a 15-year partnership with the sequencing giant Illumina under which Qiagen's tests will be run on Illumina's machines, did little to propitiate shareholders. Qiagen's decision to cease future development of its GeneReader machines is probably a wise one, albeit somewhat embarrassing after the company spent a great deal of time and money pushing into next-gen technology. The system was launched in 2015 with an unusual "price-per-insight" model under which customers received the sequencing machine and consumables such as individual test kits or reagents for free, instead being charged for each clinical report the system generated. Berenberg analysts wrote last month that canning the GeneReader might be the most pragmatic solution for Qiagen, allowing management to increase focus on more significant growth drivers, such as the Quantiferon range, an Elisa-based diagnostic for applications including tuberculosis. Mr Schatz, who will remain a special adviser to the company and a significant shareholder, is credited with building the business from start-up to a major diagnostics player – the 15th largest IVD group by sales in the world, according to EvaluateMedTech.

Mr Schatz's successor has not yet been announced, though Thierry Bernard, Qiagen's senior vice-president and head of molecular diagnostics, will hold the post on an interim basis. This will see Qiagen develop clinical kits to run on Illumina's MiSeq Dx and NextSeq 550Dx sequencers. The companies will initially focus on oncology but could expand into tests for cardiology, hereditary diseases, infection, inflammation or autoimmune conditions. The agreement might also be expanded to encompass other Illumina diagnostic systems. Theoretically the deal should play to both groups' strengths: Illumina is one of the leaders in high-throughput sequencing, alongside Thermo Fisher and Pacbio, and Qiagen excels at sample prep, IVD development and back-end bioinformatics.

But Illumina does not expect sales resulting from this partnership to manifest until 2022 or 2023. Qiagen also announced that CEO Peer Schatz is stepping down, although he'll stay on as a special advisor to help with the transition. Thierry Bernard, who heads Qiagen's molecular diagnostics business area, will serve as interim CEO while the company searches for a replacement. In the good-news category, Qiagen is teaming up with Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN) in a 15-year partnership to develop diagnostic tests using NGS. The companies will start with cancer tests, including companion diagnostics that doctors use to determine which drugs to give patients, but may move on to other fields such as cardiology, hereditary diseases, infectious diseases, inflammatory diseases, and autoimmune diseases.

free battle

Two leaders in genomics and molecular analysis, Illumina and QIAGEN, have announced a 15-year partnership that the companies say is aimed at increasing the availability and use of NGS-based in-vitro diagnostics (IVDs) for precision medicine applications. Under the terms of the agreement, Qiagen has received non-exclusive right to develop and commercialize diagnostic kits to used on Illumina's MiSeq Dx and NextSeq 550Dx sequencing systems, with Illumina also holding the right to expand the relationship to future diagnostic systems it develops. The agreement also includes a provision for Qiagen to develop immunotherapy companion diagnostics based on Illumina's TruSight Oncology assays. "We are committed to expanding the range of clinical use cases addressed by genomic sequencing by enabling partners to deliver IVD tests and companion diagnostics on Illumina's Dx instruments," said Francis deSouza, CEO of Illumina in a press release. "Our partnership with Qiagen will complement Illumina's TSO 500 family with additional testing menu options, accelerating NGS adoption in oncology patient management." According to the companies, the initial focus of the partnership will be on the commercialization of oncology diagnostic kits to aid clinical patient management. In the future, the diagnostics partnership may expand to other clinical areas such as cardiology, hereditary diseases, infectious diseases, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. For Qiagen, the deal will allow the company to develop an array of diagnostic tests designed to run on Illumina's Dx line of sequencers, with the aim of increasing the footprint of both companies in the clinical diagnostics space. According to Qiagen, the partnership with Illumina further strengthens its presence in molecular precision medicine which currently includes 25 master collaboration agreements with pharma and biotech partners—agreements that have yielded seven co-approvals of a therapeutic and companion diagnostic. "Bringing together our highly complementary capabilities marks an important milestone to advance the use of NGS technologies in clinical decision-making and our shared vision of using this powerful technology to improve the outcomes for patients worldwide," said Peer M. "This partnership becomes a key cornerstone of our NGS strategy, which continues to include our universal solutions for use with any sequencer as well as the GeneReader NGS System for use primarily with smaller, targeted gene panels." For its part, Illumina has set its sights firmly on influencing and improving precision clinical care via its MiSeq Dx and NextSeq 550Dx systems as well as other technologies and assays. With its focus on reducing the cost of sequencing a whole genome to the $100 range, the company is working toward making NGS testing for patients a more integral part of everyday clinical care across a range of indications. Partnership to Deliver Sequencing-Based In-Vitro Diagnostic (IVD) Tests Illumina, Inc. and QIAGEN N.V. have announced a 15-year partnership intended to broaden the availability and use of next-generation sequencing NGS-based in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) kits, including companion diagnostics, for patient management. The agreement grants QIAGEN non-exclusive rights to develop and globally commercialize IVD kits to be used together with Illumina's MiSeq™ Dx and NextSeq™ 550Dx Systems. The agreement also includes rights for expansion of the partnership on future Illumina diagnostic (Dx) systems. Both partners are also exploring opportunities for QIAGEN to develop and market companion diagnostics based on Illumina's TruSight Oncology (TSO) assays that enable comprehensive genomic profiling of tumor samples in immunotherapy. Illumina and QIAGEN will cooperate to commercialize a menu of clinically validated workflows that combine QIAGEN's proprietary content and bioinformatics solutions. The partnership will initially focus on commercializing oncology IVD kits to support patient management and may expand in the future to include additional clinical diagnostic fields, such as cardiology, hereditary diseases, infectious diseases, as well as inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.