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QIAGEN Gains Rights To Genomic Biomarkers For Lung, Brain And Other Cancers To Expand Its Pipeline Of Companion Diagnostics

HILDEN, Germany and GERMANTOWN, Maryland, January 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

  • Licenses diagnostic rights for ALK (anaplastic lymphoma kinase) gene, a promising target for novel class of lung cancer drugs, from Insight Genetics, Inc.
  • Acquires rights for diagnosis of IDH1/IDH2 mutations in brain gliomas, acute myelogenous leukemia and other cancers from Personal Genome Diagnostics Inc.
  • Diagnostic tests for these biomarkers are expected to be developed and commercialized for use as prognostic tools or as companion diagnostics for new anticancer drugs

QIAGEN (NASDAQ: QGEN; Frankfurt, Prime Standard: QIA) today announced two agreements with U.S. biotech companies to acquire worldwide exclusive rights to biomarkers that are expected to play an important role in personalized treatment of various cancers.

QIAGEN has entered into a strategic co-development partnership and licensing agreement with Insight Genetics, Inc. of Nashville, Tennessee, for a genetic test covering the ALK (anaplastic lymphoma kinase) biomarker, a promising target for a novel class of lung cancer drugs.

Through a separate agreement between its 89% subsidiary Ipsogen and Personal Genome Diagnostics Inc., of Baltimore, Maryland, QIAGEN has also acquired worldwide exclusive rights to testing for mutations of the IDH1 and IDH2 genes - which are believed to play a role in brain cancers, acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and certain other malignancies.

"These two new agreements add to our significant activities in further expanding our broad portfolio of novel and relevant biomarkers that can drive personalized healthcare. QIAGEN is a global leader in the emerging market for companion diagnostics, which are increasingly guiding the treatment decisions in various cancers and other diseases," said Peer Schatz, Chief Executive Officer of QIAGEN. "The two agreements announced today add to our portfolio the ALK biomarker, which is being targeted by several pharmaceutical companies for new anti-cancer treatments, as well as the IDH1/IDH2 biomarker, which is currently playing a critical role in intense R&D activity for candidate medicines targeting brain gliomas and other cancers. In addition to providing these assays to researchers, we intend to develop companion diagnostics to make these biomarkers available in combination with new medicines."

The strategic co-development partnership and licensing agreement with Insight Genetics, a molecular diagnostics company focused on enhancing personalized cancer care, gives QIAGEN worldwide exclusive rights to Insight Genetics' diagnostic IP to the ALK gene. The companies will collaborate in the development of a corresponding test that can be clinically validated and marketed by QIAGEN as a companion diagnostic. Mutations of ALK are implicated in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and other cancers, and several anticancer compounds known as ALK inhibitors, are in clinical trials. One ALK inhibitor has been approved by the FDA, but it is currently paired with a diagnostic method that can be technically challenging and costly.

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