Leading the Way in Life Science Technologies

GEN Exclusives

More »

GEN News Highlights

More »
Jul 11, 2011

Qiagen Ups Bid for Cellestis by 7% with Eye on QuantiFERON Diagnostics Platform

Qiagen Ups Bid for Cellestis by 7% with Eye on QuantiFERON Diagnostics Platform

Disease detection and monitoring technology includes whole-blood lab tests for TB and CMV infections. [© Pixelbliss - Fotolia.com]

  • Qiagen has upped its offer to acquire Australian diagnostics firm Cellestis to A$3.80 per share, a 7% increase on the original offer of A$3.55 per share announced in April, which would have put the overall purchase price at A$341 million in cash. The firm says the A$3.80 per share offer won’t be increased further in the absence of a competing bid, and represents a 33.1% premium on the one-month volume-weighted average of Cellestis’ shares the day before the initial offer was made public.

    Qiagen is looking to buy Cellestis to get its hands on the latter’s QuantiFERON® technology for disease detection and monitoring, including its clinical-use QuantiFERON-TB Gold (QFT) blood test for diagnosing Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, and QuantiFERON-CMV test for cytomegalovirus infection. The CMV test has been CE-marked in Europe but is currently only available for research use in the U.S.

    The QuantiFERON platform has been developed as a whole-blood method for detecting cell-mediated immune responses to an existing infection or disease. The in-tube technology exploits the fact that individuals exposed to a specific disease have circulating T cell lymphocytes in their blood that maintain an immunological memory. A whole-blood sample from the patient is challenged with a disease antigen. If the disease is already present, antigen challenge stimulates effector T cells to release the cytokine interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), which the QuantiFERON technology detects. Effectively the production of IFN-γ in response to antigen exposure acts a specific marker of recall response, indicating that the disease or infection was already present, Cellestis explains.

    In addition to its existing TB and CMV tests, the firm is currently developing a QuantiFERON test for detecting Leishmania parasite infection. Cellestis reported revenues of $22.5 million in the six months prior to December 2010, up 24% from revenues in the equivalent six months of 2009.

Related content

Be sure to take the GEN Poll

Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

More »