QIAGEN N.V. (QGEN - Free Report) recently announced that it collaborated with Illumina, Inc (ILMN - Free Report) to expand the accessibility and use of next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) kits, including companion diagnostics, for better patient management.
Per the terms of the agreement, QIAGEN will receive non-exclusive rights to develop and globally commercialize IVD kits, which will be used along with Illumina’s MiSeq Dx and NextSeq 550Dx Systems. The deal also includes expansion rights of the partnership on future Illumina diagnostic (Dx) systems.
With the partnership, QIAGEN aims to expand its global presence in the NGS-based IVD market. This is part of the company’s recently introduced plan to prioritize resource allocation to focus on better growth opportunities.
Significance of the Collaboration
Apart from getting non-exclusive rights, the agreement explores opportunities for QIAGEN to develop and market companion diagnostics, based on Illumina’s TruSight Oncology (“TSO”) menu, which enables all-inclusive genomic profiling of tumor samples in immunotherapy.
The companies will work to commercialize an array of medically documented steps, based on QIAGEN’s content and bioinformatics solutions. The collaboration will initially focus on commercializing oncology IVD kits to support patient management, which may later be expanded to include other clinical diagnostic fields such as cardiology and hereditary diseases.
QIAGEN’s management believes that the collaboration will be a breakthrough for the advancement of NGS technologies in the medical field and improve patient outcomes globally.
A Peek Into QIAGEN’s Product Portfolio
Of late, QIAGEN has expanded the product portfolio quite impressively. This includes the QIAstat-Dx system for syndromic testing that received the FDA nod in May and is currently available in Europe and the United States along with other countries. The commercial launch of NeuMoDx 96, the integrated PCR system, is another impressive development.
The company has been witnessing steady progress within the Life Sciences segment based on the rollout of QIAcube Connect.
QIAGEN announced the launch of GeneGlobe Design & Analysis Hub in September 2019. The newly improved platform brings next-level experiment planning, execution and follow-up to life science researchers.
In June 2019, the company launched the Sample to Insight solution for translational and clinical research into genetic drivers of rare and inherited diseases. The new QIAseq Expanded Carrier Screening Panel identifies targets, genes and other indicators responsible for more than 200 disease indications.
QIAGEN collaborated with Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (INO - Free Report) in May this year to develop a companion diagnostic for clinical decision-making, to be used with Inovio’s DNA-based immunotherapy to treat cervical dysplasia caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).
Per a report by Grand View Research, the global NGS market was valued at $8.49 billion in 2018 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 12.78% between 2019 and 2025. The key factors driving the market include the introduction of advanced and rapid sequencing technologies for clinical processes, and advancements in the bioinformatics field.
Given the huge potential for the NGS market and the company’s aim for better resource allocation to further advance in the use of NGS technologies in clinical decision-making, the partnership has come at the right time.
QIAGEN’s shares have dipped 22.5% in the past year, wider than the industry’s decline of 19.4%. However, the S&P 500 index rose 6.3% during the same period.
Zacks Rank & Stock to Consider
Currently, QIAGEN carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). A better-ranked stock from the broader medical space is GW Pharmaceuticals plc (GWPH - Free Report) , carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. It has a projected third-quarter earnings growth rate of 70.2%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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