) forged an agreement with the pharmaceutical firm,
Eli Lilly and Company
) to develop and market a molecular companion diagnostic paired
with a unique Lilly oncology compound. This marks the third
co-development project by QIAGEN and Lilly in the area of
The field of companion diagnostics comprises biological methods
(mostly tests) designed to assess whether a patient positively
responds to a specific medical treatment. Such tests use the
genomic information available in patient samples, which equip
healthcare professionals to take decisions regarding treatment
processes. Analysis of biological and clinical information
facilitates better decision-making about the development and use
of a potential drug therapy.
According to recent studies, it has been found out that oncology
is one of the most potent areas in Companion Diagnostics. Some
reputed pharmaceutical companies involved in this field include
the likes of
Biogen Idec Inc.
Merck & Co. Inc.
) among others.
The recent collaboration entails Eli Lilly to work on an
undisclosed compound while QIAGEN is expected to formulate an
undisclosed molecular diagnostic target. The aim of the
collaboration is to develop customized therapies built
essentially for the treatment of cancer.
The partnership between the two companies started in Sep 2011
when Qiagen and Lilly started working jointly on a companion
diagnostic test to evaluate the Janus kinase 2 gene, which plays
a key role in some blood cancers. The test, accompanied by a
Lilly compound, is expected to help in identifying at-risk
patients who might benefit from a proposed cancer drug.
The therascreen KRAS RGQ PCR Kit from QIAGEN received the U.S.
FDA approval in Jul 2012. It is a genetic test designed to detect
gene mutations in metastatic colorectal cancer patients and
target patients, who can be potentially treated with the drug
Erbitux. The therascreen is highly popular in laboratories
BIOGEN IDEC INC (BIIB): Free Stock Analysis
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QIAGEN remains the foremost choice for big pharmaceutical
companies as the company offers the broadest portfolio of
companion diagnostic tools, including the therascreen EGFR and
KRAS kits in Japan, and over 15 CE-marked assays for personalized
healthcare applications in Europe.
Currently, more than 15 projects with pharmaceutical and biotech
companies are in the pipeline for QIAGEN in the area of companion
diagnostics. This is in conformity of the company's vision to
enhance overall health for people by providing competent
healthcare solutions to its customers.
Currently, the stock carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).