Qiagen plucks Ingenuity Systems from genomics analysis pack in $105M buyout

Qiagen ($QGEN) has purchased Ingenuity Systems for $105 million in cash. The Netherlands-based buyer plans to integrate the genomic database and analysis software from Ingenuity into its molecular diagnostics business. The buyout highlights the growing value of understanding the nuances of genomics to make precise diagnoses.

Redwood City, CA-based Ingenuity has spent more than a decade building what the company calls the Knowledge Base database, which contains computationally structured information on genetic variants linked to diseases. The company provides web-based analysis software for uncovering knowledge from mountains of data on DNA and other biological samples, with customers that include most major pharma companies and hundreds of biotech and academic groups. Ingenuity took in $20 million in 2012 revenue.

Qiagen expects the purchase of Ingenuity to provide new resources to bolster the buyer's molecular testing products that use real-time PCR and next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies. As NGS becomes faster and cheaper, hospitals have begun to explore the use of sequencing for diagnostics and tailoring treatment for patients with cancer, genetic diseases and other illnesses. Qiagen's acquisition comes as Ingenuity develops a new software product to aid those using sequencing in molecular diagnostics, giving those users the ability to identify meaningful variants in the NGS data to explain diseases.

"Today we can sequence an entire human genome in just a couple of days for less than a few thousand dollars, but the data analysis can take from months to years. The Ingenuity suite of products enables this rapid and accurate interpretation in a matter of minutes, and this is fundamentally impacting scientific research and the ability to diagnose and manage patient care," Jake Leschly, Ingenuity's president and CEO, said in a statement.

"Combining the highest-quality knowledge content with powerful search capabilities and easy-to-use interfaces, the Ingenuity suite provides customers with scientifically and clinically relevant insights into diseases," Peer Schatz, Qiagen's CEO, stated. "We are looking forward to expanding the seamless integration of leading biomedical information solutions into our full range of molecular testing solutions, thereby providing our customers a unique experience from sample to interpreted result and recommendations for next steps."

The buyout took effect on Monday, making Ingenuity part of a larger organization amid growing competition in the market for software to interpret DNA data. The list of rivals includes Knome, Silicon Valley Biosystems, Cypher Genomics and Personalis, among others.

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