Molecular diagnostics solutions provider,
) continued to expand its presence in China with the recent
point-of-need diagnostics deal with a Beijing-based medical device
company Lepu Medical Technology. The contract will enable Qiagen to
combine its ESEQuant Lateral Flow System with five cardiac
biomarker tests of Lepu which detect acute myocardial infarction or
heart attack. The new integrated system will be marketed in China
by Lepu under the name LEPU Quant-Gold.
Qiagen claims that this system would provide proper support in
emergency rooms by delivering rapid and accurate diagnosis of heart
attacks. This advance diagnosis is expected to be given some
importance since patients suffering heart attacks face the greatest
risk of death in the first hour. China's State Food and Drug
Administration (SFDA) has already approved Qiagen'sESEQuant Lateral
Flow System, to work with Lepu's biomarker tests. This was
considered to be a milestone for Qiagen as it marked the first
regulatory approval in human healthcare on a global basis, using
the ESEQuant platform.
Qiagen believes that the new deal coupled with the SFDA
approval, will justify the company's goal to strengthen its global
footprint. China, one of the fastest-growing healthcare markets, is
the third-largest country in terms of revenues for Qiagen. The wide
scope in this region has always attracted Qiagen to invest more.
This latest deal with Lepu in the company's leading edge point-
of-need diagnostic assay portfolio is expected to broaden the
opportunity further for Qiagen in China.
Based on its strong ESE platform portfolio, Qiagen is currently
working hard to expand in the emerging market of point-of-need
diagnostics. Earlier in May, the company acquired Boston-based
privately owned company AmniSure International. The acquisition
enabled the company to access AmniSure's proprietary diagnostic
test AmniSure assay, which determines rupture of fetal membranes in
pregnant women. The company also joined a global initiative with
the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to create a platform for
point-of care-diagnosis for developing countries.
Given the substantial potential of the molecular diagnostic
market globally, Qiagen is currently focusing on expanding its
diagnostics products offering. The company currently derives around
50% of its total revenue from this segment, which is likely to
increase with this new deal. Apart from Amnisure, Qiagen has
acquired several companies to expand its product portfolio. The
significant ones are Cellestis and Ipsogen in 2011.
Qiagen's focus on strategic initiatives to drive growth and
profitability in the molecular diagnostics market is encouraging.
Its innovative tests in the genomic/esoteric arena, with focus on
the high-margin esoteric testing business, are expected to
accelerate the company's sales growth on the back of growing market
demand, not only in the domestic market but also
The growing market of molecular diagnostic testing is also
luring several small clinical laboratory companies to introduce
their portfolio of genetic tests.
Major Peers in the Molecular Diagnostics Segment
Qiagen is facing intense competition in the molecular diagnostic
space, especially from the likes of
Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings
). LabCorp has already expanded its area of esoteric testing
and personalized medicine business with the acquisition of Genzyme
Genetics. Recently in August the company acquired Medtox
Scientific, a premier forensic and clinical laboratory which will
enable LabCorp to strengthen its foothold in specialized toxicology
testing. In the same month, Hologic acquired Gen-Probe -- a player
in the field of molecular diagnostics, with special focus on the
women's health segment.
Currently, Qiagen retains a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold).
Over the long term, we are Neutral on the stock, at par with
LabCorp and Hologic.
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