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QIAGEN seeks to boost bioinformatics portfolio by acquiring OmicSoft
HILDEN, Germany & GERMANTOWN, Md.—On Jan. 9, QIAGEN N.V. announced the acquisition of OmicSoft Corp. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but the deal was expected to be completed in January using cash reserves and plans were for OmicSoft’s co-founder and president, Dr. Jack Liu, to remain with QIAGEN to lead future product development of the OmicSoft portfolio.
Speaking of that portfolio, that’s what’s really at the heart of the deal, as the acquisition provides access, as QIAGEN notes, “to OmicSoft’s powerful multi-omics data management infrastructure solution as well as expertly curated ‘omics’ data sets that complement QIAGEN’s bioinformatics portfolio that are relied upon by customers worldwide to gain valuable insights into complex biological data.”
QIAGEN adds that OmicSoft is recognized for its suite of cutting-edge software solutions that enable scientists and researchers to efficiently analyze and visualize their own data sets and compare them to massive volumes of publicly available ‘omics’ data sets (among them The Cancer Genome Atlas operated by the U.S. National Cancer Institute) and share results with colleagues. These solutions, which integrate enterprise access and cloud-based resources, are essential in addressing the rapidly growing need of researchers in discovery and translational research to manage, compare and share the massive volumes of data on DNA, RNA and other biological variables generated with next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies.
Looking at specific relative strengths, OmicSoft is expected to greatly enhance QIAGEN’s industry-leading bioinformatics portfolio by adding key features for the management, analysis and sharing of both primary data and analyzed results, while also expanding the range of QIAGEN’s translational and clinical applications.
QIAGEN says that pot-acquisition it will be able offer solutions “across the full spectrum of data management and interpretation needs.” Another plus is that OmicSoft will bring to QIAGEN scalable and flexible software architecture solutions that could make future expansion of QIAGEN’s bioinformatics offerings more efficient and useful.
“The addition of OmicSoft to QIAGEN’s portfolio of Sample to Insight solutions reinforces our position as the gold standard for analysis and interpretation of complex biological data across many different disciplines,” said Peer M. Schatz, CEO of QIAGEN.
“The OmicSoft team has deep expertise that will enable QIAGEN to better support customers in managing vast data sets and gaining actionable insights for discovery and translational research,” added Dr. Laura Furmanski, senior vice president and head of the Bioinformatics Business Area at QIAGEN. “The market opportunity is significant given the expanding use of multiple ‘omics’ data in research and clinical healthcare. We intend to integrate the OmicSoft solutions into our full bioinformatics interpretation portfolio, and make it a key differentiator in our Sample to Insight offerings.”
In other NGS-related news the same day this deal was announced, QIAGEN revealed a comprehensive range of enhancements for the GeneReader NGS System, in particular the launch of new gene panels that will create a full menu for oncology applications.
QIAGEN also announced that it achieved the target set for 55 to 60 GeneReader NGS System placements with customers worldwide at the end of 2016 following the start of commercialization in late 2015. This represents more than a 10-percent share of the estimated global annual market for new placements of benchtop sequencer used for oncology applications.
“We are very pleased with the response of customers to the GeneReader NGS System, which has confirmed our strategic decision to provide a simpler, more cost-effective way for any laboratory worldwide to take advantage of NGS technology and improve outcomes,” said Schatz. “This comprehensive range of enhancements will further differentiate the GeneReader NGS System and help customers explore the expanding content menu and ability to gain valuable molecular insights. We look forward to further expanding and enhancing the utility, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of this truly differentiated Sample to Insight solution and our NGS portfolio.”