Qiagen exceeds 2014 placement goals for molecular Dx, hedges its bets on continued success

Qiagen CEO Peer Schatz

Qiagen ($QGEN) has been on a roll as of late, winning critical regulatory approvals for new tests and inking companion diagnostics deals to expand its market reach. The company's hard work appears to be paying off, as Qiagen exceeded its goal of 250 new placements for its modular molecular testing system in 2014 and is hedging its bets on growth in the coming year.

The Dutch diagnostics giant chalked up 1,250 cumulative placements for its QIAsymphony system in 2014 and plans to surpass 1,500 placements worldwide this year, strengthening its global footprint and setting the stage for more R&D, the company said in a statement.

"Our QIAsymphony automation solution is revolutionizing molecular testing workflows with flexible, efficient processing from sample to insight - and our rapidly expanding menu of standardized, regulator-approved diagnostic kits is adding value by allowing consolidation of more tests on the QIAsymphony," Qiagen CEO Peer Schatz said in a statement. "We have set a goal for another 250 system placements in 2015 and look forward to further expanding the test menu in the U.S., Europe and other markets through new submissions during this year."

The company is counting on a fresh crop of regulatory approvals to fuel expansion in 2015. Qiagen last year won five FDA approvals for its tests, including a regulatory signoff in late December for its artus HSV molecular diagnostic kit to identify herpes type 1 and type 2 infections on its QIAsymphony system. The company also scored three CE marks in 2014 for its artus tests to detect vancomycin-resistant bacteria (VanR), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Group B streptococcal infection (GBS), boosting its European offerings to 13 assays.

Meanwhile, Qiagen continues to chart progress on other fronts, netting strong sales for its tuberculosis test and striking deals with Big Pharma to further its companion diagnostics push. In November, the company reported third quarter net sales of $336.8 million--a 4% hike year over year--and said it expected 2014 earnings to rise to $1.08 from $1.02 in 2013. Qiagen partly attributed the positive numbers to its next-generation QuantiFERON-TB test, a product the company hopes will bring in $100 million in full-year 2014 sales.

The company recently announced it would team up with Novartis ($NVS) to develop tests for the company's drug portfolio, adding to its string of companion diagnostic partnerships. In May, Qiagen teamed up with Eli Lilly ($LLY) for the companies' fourth companion diagnostics project, building on the momentum of past collaborations to develop assay panels for cancer. The company has more than 20 collaborative projects underway.

- read Qiagen's statement

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