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QIAGEN, Lilly to develop companion diagnostics
GERMANTOWN, Md.—QIAGEN has inked a master collaboration agreement with Eli Lilly and Co. under which the companies will develop and commercialize companion diagnostics to accompany investigational and approved medicines from Lilly in a variety of therapeutic areas. The companies did not specify which medicines or indications they would pursue, and no financial details were disclosed. The agreement is a continuation of the partners' past work.
"We have expanded this relationship with Lilly as a result of our ongoing work together," Dr. Ulrich Schriek, senior vice president of Global Business Development at QIAGEN, said in a press release about the collaboration. "This agreement lays the groundwork for potential future projects with Lilly in various therapeutic areas and enables significant efficiencies for future development programs by standardizing interfaces and processes between our organizations. Through partnerships like this, QIAGEN offers pharma companies a cost-effective way to maximize the value and benefits of potential new medicines in their pipelines, while also reducing the risks in medicine development."
This collaboration lays the groundwork for the companies to partner on future projects across all of Lilly's areas of focus, and aims to bring Lilly's medicines to market with QIAGEN companion diagnostics.
"Tailored therapies are a key component of Lilly's strategy of providing improved outcomes for individual patients. By working with partners like QIAGEN, we are advancing a number of tailored therapeutics in an effort to target the right medicine to the right patient," said Daniel Skovronsky, M.D., Ph.D., vice president of tailored therapeutics at Lilly and CEO of Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lilly. "This collaboration with QIAGEN extends our capabilities to more quickly and cost-effectively bring innovative new medicines, alongside advanced diagnostics, to patients worldwide who are waiting."
This is not the first time QIAGEN and Lilly have partnered on companion diagnostics. In September 2011, QIAGEN announced a partnership to develop, manufacture and commercialize a molecular companion diagnostic for one of Lilly's early-stage compounds being investigated as a JAK2 inhibitor for the treatment of blood cancers. QIAGEN was responsible for developing a companion diagnostic test that would produce qualitative and quantitative results for JAK2 V617F, Lilly's compound. The agreement covered development and use of QIAGEN's resulting assay in clinical trials as well as manufacturing and joint commercialization of the diagnostic alongside Lilly's product. In addition, the companies have also collaborated on companion diagnostics designed to be run on QIAGEN's Rotor-Gene Q system.
In related news, QIAGEN has announced the adoption of its therascreen KRAS RGQ PCR Kit, a companion diagnostic for Erbitux when treating patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, by Clarient, a GE Healthcare company. Additionally, in early January, QIAGEN made a trio of deals to add new biomarkers to its pipeline. The company has made an equity investment in Drug Response Dx GmbH for rheumatoid arthritis biomarkers when patients are treated with TNF-alpha inhibitors, signed a license agreement with Insight Genetics Inc. for biomarkers in non-small cell lung cancer and also licensed exclusive worldwide rights for a biomarker for HSP110 gene mutations attributed to colorectal cancer from Inserm Transfert.