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QIAGEN Announces Broad Agreement With Astellas Pharma to Develop Companion Diagnostics

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QIAGEN N.V. (NASDAQ: QGEN; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) recently announced a master collaboration agreement with Astellas Pharma Inc., an R&D-driven global pharmaceutical company headquartered in Japan, to develop and commercialize companion diagnostics paired with Astellas drugs for use in cancer and other diseases. The scope of the agreement is not restricted to certain sample types, platforms, indications or biomarkers, thereby giving Astellas access to QIAGEN’s development capabilities for assays based on PCR, NGS and multi-modal testing technologies using liquid and tissue biopsies. Two initial projects in the collaboration focus on oncology and aim to pair QIAGEN diagnostics with Astellas compounds in early-stage clinical trials: ASP5878, a fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) inhibitor, and ASP8273, an EGFR inhibitor. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“We are very pleased to partner with Astellas to help maximize the benefits of their innovative new drugs with companion diagnostics from our development and commercialization engine. QIAGEN shares Astellas’ commitment to contribute actively toward improving the health of patients by realizing the benefits of personalized healthcare,” said Peer M. Schatz, Chief Executive Officer of QIAGEN. “With the master agreement and the first two projects to be disclosed, QIAGEN is further expanding its leadership in personalized medicine – including in Japan, one of the world’s largest markets for companion diagnostics. The master agreement provides Astellas and QIAGEN flexibility and a strong foundation to add further development projects across other therapeutic areas, across analytical techniques, and across a broad array of sampling options.”

The Astellas collaboration is QIAGEN’s eighth framework agreement for developing companion diagnostics, underscoring the company’s position as a preferred partner in personalized medicine. QIAGEN has more than 20 collaborative projects with pharma and biotech companies to develop, validate and market companion diagnostics to guide the treatment of cancers and a variety of other diseases. QIAGEN already markets tests for personalized healthcare applications based on more than 30 molecular biomarkers, and the company has a growing portfolio of novel biomarkers in development.

QIAGEN offers companion diagnostic programs spanning a range of automation platforms. A number of the tests are real-time PCR assays for analysis on the QIAsymphony family of instruments. In Japan, the world’s second-largest market for personalized healthcare, QIAGEN’s therascreen® EGFR RGQ PCR Kit in NSCLC and QIAGEN’s therascreen® KRAS Mutation Detection Kit in colorectal cancer were launched in 2011. QIAGEN also is a global leader in developing companion diagnostics for next-generation sequencing (NGS) platforms. Earlier in 2014 QIAGEN added to its platforms for companion diagnostics the multi-modal, multi-analyte Modaplex, which enables laboratories to analyze multiple sample types simultaneously for dozens of DNA and RNA biomarkers. QIAGEN acquired this fast, cost-efficient workflow from PrimeraDx.

Source: Qiagen