Qiagen is making two agreements to add new biomarkers involving glioblastoma, lymphoma, and other cancers to its portfolio of potential companion diagnostics.
The first agreement, a glioblastoma project, is an exclusive worldwide licensing option with Columbia University on FGFR-TACC fusion genes. Qiagen says it intends to develop this biomarker into a diagnostic test for routine use in diagnostic workups, which may enable doctors to identify glioblastoma patients who could benefit from targeted treatments now under development.
The second agreement is another exclusive license option, this one with the BC Cancer Agency for a EZH2 Y641 mutation biomarker that could reportedly serve as a companion diagnostic test for routine selection of patients who could benefit from EZH2-targeted therapies that are currently under development by large pharmaceutical companies.
“Qiagen’s expertise and solutions spanning the continuum from research to commercialization is driving significant value in personalized healthcare—a rapidly growing franchise with $100 million of annual sales,” said Peer M. Schatz, CEO of Qiagen. “Deep relationships with leading academic centers provide a rich source of biomarkers, as in these latest two agreements. In partnership with top pharmaceutical companies, we are translating genomic discoveries into standardized companion diagnostics to guide the use of targeted drugs.”
Qiagen is certainly expanding, having acquired genomic software firm Ingenuity Systems last month in a $105 million cash deal and, in January 2012, signing separate deals with Insight Genetics and with Personal Genome Diagnostics to gain exclusive licenses to the cancer-related biomarkers ALK and IDH1/IDH2.