Qiagen launches Germany-based JV aimed at companion Dx

Biotype Diagnostics CEO Wilhelm Zörgiebel

Qiagen ($QGEN) relies on companion diagnostics to keep its engine running, and the company is looking to gain some ground in the field through a new joint venture with German molecular diagnostics outfit Biotype Diagnostics.

Neither side is revealing financial details, but Qiagen and Biotype's freshly minted JV, dubbed "Biotype Innovation," will develop and market molecular diagnostics for personalized healthcare based on Qiagen's rapid ModaPlex tool. Qiagen will provide technology and access to global markets as part of the deal, and Biotype will contribute its test development know-how and scientific network, the companies said in a statement. Biotype Innovation's headquarters will be on Biotype's Dresden campus, allowing the companies "to leverage synergies and share facilities where necessary," Wilhelm Zörgiebel, CEO of Biotype Diagnostics, said in a statement.

The tests developed through the new business will be geared toward companion diagnostics, helping physicians select treatments for patients while expanding Qiagen's presence in the market. Qiagen will hold on to worldwide distribution rights for the tests, while Biotype will pick up codistribution rights in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Qiagen CEO Peer Schatz

"This partnership enables us to expand the menu of our unique ModaPlex platform, offer assay development services for pharma companies and thereby expand our leadership in companion diagnostics," Qiagen CEO Peer Schatz said in a statement. "As a long-standing partner with an unparalleled expertise in molecular analysis, Biotype is the natural partner for us."

Meanwhile, Qiagen is keeping busy on the companion diagnostics front, striking deals to expand its hold on the market. The company has more than 20 collaborative projects underway, including an ongoing partnership with pharma heavyweight Eli Lilly ($LLY). Last May, Qiagen teamed up with Lilly for the fourth time to develop assay panels for cancer.

In November, Qiagen joined forces with Novartis ($NVS) to develop tests for the company's drug portfolio. In April, the Dutch diagnostics giant said it would work with Tokai Pharmaceuticals to use its technology to develop a companion diagnostic test for Tokai's prostate cancer med.

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