Qiagen acquisition extends diagnostics range

Related tags Qiagen Virus

Qiagen has acquired the PCR diagnostics company Artus, in a move
that now allows Qiagen to offer preanalytical sample preparation
and diagnostic assay solutions to its partners in molecular
diagnostics. The acquisition further allows Qiagen to broadening
the tests available on current diagnostic platforms fuelling growth
in molecular diagnostics.

Under the terms of the agreement, Qiagen will pay approximately $39.2 million (€31.7 million) in cash in exchange for all of the outstanding capital stock of artus. Approximately $11.6 million of this consideration will be paid into escrow and will be released subject to certain milestones being met. Qiagen expects to incur charges relating to the acquisition of approximately $2.0 - 3.0 million in its financial results for the second quarter of 2005.

On a strategic level, this latest move by Qiagen allows the company to accelerate growth of molecular diagnostic testing. Qiagen intend to achieve this by commercialising combined preanalytical and assay solutions, which can expand the testing menus of its diagnostic partners. The products have its uses in difficult-to-treat samples such as in tissue, respiratory and stool-based diagnostics.

Like Qiagen, artus has also made progress towards regulatory standardisation. The artus RealArt assay range has been developed for use on a variety of open architecture detection platforms including the Roche LightCycler, the ABI Taqman, and the RotorGene from Corbett Research as well as electrophoresis detection systems.

This is not the first time that Qiagen and Artus have entered into an agreement. December 2003 saw Qiagen enter into a manufacturing and supply agreement, in which artus integrated Qiagen's nucleic acid sample products in Artus' diagnostic systems for use in the detection of infectious diseases such as SARS, Herpes simplex virus -1/-2, EBV, West Nile Virus, Malaria, Salmonella.

"We believe that this acquisition will contribute to the standardisation in and dissemination of molecular diagnostic testing,"​ said Peer Schatz, chief executive officer of Qiagen.

"Our solutions enable nucleic acid testing to achieve regulatory compliance,"​ he added.

artus​, a Hamburg-based company, has been in the news a number of times. In November 2000, artus was the first laboratory, which tested a cattle positive for BSE (bovine spongiforme encephalopathy, "mad cow disease") in Germany.

In addition, April 2003 saw artus become the first company worldwide to sell a commercial amplification and detection system for the SARS-Coronavirus during the SARS epidemic. artus sells and distributes its licensed diagnostic products worldwide in more than 30 countries.

Related topics Preclinical Research

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