Collaboration creates distribution channel to previously underserved market segment.

Cardinal Health has agreed to offer Qiagen automated laboratory systems and test kits for molecular diagnostics to select U.S. hospitals. The healthcare services firm will distribute Qiagen’s tests to small- and mid-sized hospitals in the U.S. that were previously not covered by Qiagen’s own sales channels.

There are approximately 5,000 community hospitals in the U.S., according to the American Hospital Association. Currently, about 10% of them perform molecular diagnostics, Qiagen reports. This collaboration is expected to create critical mass in distribution of molecular diagnostics to this market segment, thereby supporting the adoption of in-house molecular diagnostic testing among smaller U.S. hospitals. Qiagen will support Cardinal Health customers with application and technical support resources.

“Cardinal Health is a highly respected healthcare services company and will be an excellent partner in offering hospitals the benefits of Qiagen’s molecular technologies and systems for efficient laboratory workflow,” says Bernd Uder, svp global sales of Qiagen. “Many community hospitals seek to add molecular diagnostics to their patient care. However, the molecular diagnostics purchases of each community hospital are relatively small. Due to the large number and geographic dispersion of smaller hospitals, providing adequate coverage requires substantial critical mass in distribution resources.”

Qiagen’s products address various areas in molecular diagnostics from screening of asymptomatic patients to enable early treatment of diseases through testing of symptomatic patients to create a diagnosis as well as biomarker testing to guide treatment decisions and rapid testing of patients without access to a laboratory infrastructure. This portfolio includes instruments to automate entire workflows from initial sample processing to the final result as well as consumables that allow laboratories to run standardized or lab-developed tests.

Molecular diagnostic products available in the U.S. include the Rotor-Gene Q MDx detection platform, which has been recently 510(k) cleared for in vitro diagnostic use with a compatible artus influenza A/B assay. Going forward, Qiagen intends to obtain FDA clearances for the entire modular QIAsymphony RGQ lab automation system including the Rotor-Gene Q series instruments as well as tests currently under development.

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