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In a bid to enhance its Personalized Healthcare diagnostic pipeline, QIAGEN (QGEN - Analyst Report) inked three new deals to include multiple biomarkers in its portfolio. The biomarkers will guide treatment on the basis of the patient’s genomic information.

Per one of the agreements, QIAGEN acquired the rights to RET, ROS1 and DEPDC1 biomarkers from Insight Genetics Inc., a Nashville, Tennessee-based molecular diagnostics company. These biomarkers will find application in companion diagnostics for lung cancer. The company also invested in Drug Response Dx’s novel companion diagnostic. Currently under developmental stages, this diagnostic will forecast the efficiency of TNF-alpha inhibitors in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

QIAGEN also acquired new tests from Inserm. These test for mutation of HSP110 gene target diagnostic data on certain types of colorectal cancer and will complement the companion diagnostic menu.

The agreements underline QIAGEN’s effort to expand its portfolio of biomarkers. The new agreements for these biomarkers will support the development of new diagnostics to oversee treatment decisions for rheumatoid arthritis, lung cancer and colorectal cancer among others. Following the deals, a majority of the designed assays will be compatible with the QIAsymphony RGQ modular laboratory workflow automation system as well as the innovative sequencing workflows of the company. The use of these biomarkers will optimize use of healthcare resources along with improved treatment decisions and clinical results.

Given the substantial potential of the molecular diagnostic market globally, QIAGEN is currently focusing on diagnostics products for expansion. The company’s focus on rheumatoid arthritis and expansion of the oncology pipeline is a positive development for its molecular diagnostic segment. QIAGEN currently derives 48% of its revenues from the segment, which is likely to increase in the future on the back of such deals.

The growing molecular diagnostic menu is expected to catalyze growth for the company. Though acquisitions remain an important part of QIAGEN’s strategy, we expect the company’s organic growth to improve in the near future on the back of a solid pipeline.

We currently have a long-term Neutral recommendation on QIAGEN. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other companies in the medical device space worth a look are Intuitive Surgical (ISRG - Analyst Report) and Cantel Medical Corp. , each carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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