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QIAGEN joins WaferGen in co-marketing agreement
FREMONT, Calif.—WaferGen Bio-systems, Inc., a developer and manufacturer of genetic analysis products, and QIAGEN KK—a subsidiary of QIAGEN N.V.—have established a co-marketing agreement to jointly promote certain products in Japan, primarily in the realm of genomics platforms such as next-generation sequencing (NGS) and qPCR. The partnership is intended to provide life-science researchers with seamless project methods for accelerating the development of markers that represent potential candidates for molecular diagnostics, combining WaferGen's SmartChip solution for biomarker validation and QIAGEN's PCRarrays.
"We are extremely pleased to be partnering in a joint commercial effort with QIAGEN to bring our products to the research and industrial communities in Japan," added Ivan Trifunovich, president and CEO of WaferGen, noted in a statement. "Our product lines are highly complementary, together providing a total solution to our customers' needs. Since our July, 2012 launch of our MyDesign open format instrument, we have received enthusiastically positive reviews from our early test sites and commercial customers in the U.S. and Europe. In conjunction with our highly regarded partner, we look forward to building on these results in Japan. We are confident that our three-part value proposition—platform flexibility, cost-effectiveness and no need for pre-amplification—will be strong drivers of customers' interest."
Per the terms of the agreement, WaferGen and QIAGEN will promote and market each other's products in Japan. The two products that will be specifically marketed are WaferGen's SmartChip platform and QIAGEN's NGS platform. The NGS platform is in late-stage development, a benchtop sequencer that comprises part of QIAGEN's strategy to develop NGS workflows that unite instrumentation and consumables into a sample-to-result offering that the company plans to launch later in 2013. QIAGEN and WaferGen will be working closely together to manufacture a commercial strategy. No financial details for the partnership were disclosed.
"We are looking forward to expanding our portfolio of life-science offerings in Japan through the co-marketing of WaferGen's high-throughput qPCR solution. There is a substantial customer need to ramp up discovery efforts through targeted screening and confirmation, and our integrated approach will provide one-stop shopping for a variety of academic and industrial clients," Stephane Perrey, president of QIAGEN KK, said in a press release. "We will be able to guide customers through the series of steps necessary for an effective biomarker discovery and validation program, by providing both the instrumentation and assays necessary for the accomplishment of their scientific goals. We have successfully evaluated WaferGen's SmartChip System, and we believe that it can play an important role in our comprehensive product offering."
The agreement is the second announced by QIAGEN so far this month. The company announced last week that it had signed a broad collaboration agreement with Eli Lilly and Co. to develop and commercialize companion diagnostics to be paired with investigational and approved medicines from Lilly covering all therapeutic areas. QIAGEN and Lilly have worked together in the past on companion diagnostics designed for us on QIAGEN's Rotor-Gene Q system.
SOURCE: WaferGen press release