Hilden, Germany; Germantown, Maryland; and Chicago, Illinois, May 31, 2018 – QIAGEN N.V. (NYSE: QGEN; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) today announced a partnership with Freenome, a leading artificial intelligence (AI) genomics company, to accelerate the development and commercialization of next-generation sequencing (NGS) tests to enable precision medicine in cancer treatment. The alliance is part of internal initiatives and partnerships that QIAGEN is creating to reach patients more quickly with NGS tests, in line with the recent modernization of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory approach.
QIAGEN will discuss this initiative and showcase its broad portfolio of Sample to Insight solutions for cancer, at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2018 Annual Meeting from June 1-5, 2018, in Chicago.
“QIAGEN is helping to drive the exciting progress in applying a broad range of molecular testing technologies, including NGS, to deliver personalized genomic insights for decision-making in cancer treatment. We are intensifying our efforts for development, regulatory review and launch of precision diagnostic tests because we share the vision of making improvements in life possible for patients with cancer,” said Peer M. Schatz, Chief Executive Officer of QIAGEN. “This is shown by this new partnership – a collaboration with Freenome to add artificial intelligence to our Sample to Insight solutions as we develop new biomarkers with pharmaceutical partners. We are also excited to introduce several new solutions, including innovative panels in development for our GeneReader NGS System.”
Artificial intelligence: Freenome collaboration
QIAGEN is partnering with Freenome to accelerate companion diagnostics development in immuno-oncology by pairing industry-leading artificial intelligence with QIAGEN’s Sample to Insight solutions. QIAGEN and Freenome will co-market the two partners’ solutions to provide pharmaceutical companies with access to machine learning insights from a broad range of biological signals, augmenting in-house bioinformatics and QIAGEN solutions. The collaboration is addressing the need for faster, more accurate and sophisticated molecular diagnostic tests that predict whether a patient will benefit from immuno-oncology therapies.
Freenome’s AI genomics platform enables sequencing and analysis of multiple analytes to evaluate genomic, proteomic and epigenetic changes. Additionally, the platform integrates complex datasets from those changes to develop clinically actionable recommendations, such as prediction of response to oncology therapies. These solutions complement QIAGEN’s industry-leading bioinformatics platforms, as well as the GeneReader NGS System and universal solutions for next-generation sequencing (NGS). This partnership can open the way to new targets in precision oncology and improve therapeutic decision-making, such as with the development of novel technologies for treatment selection. For example, the two companies will collaborate on QIAGEN’s next-generation tumor mutational burden (TMB) assay, determining the level of TMB from a cancer patient’s blood. QIAGEN and Freenome have integral technologies to deliver a TMB result from a blood sample and address the fact that tumor DNA is present at very low levels within the blood.
GeneReader: significant new NGS panels launching
At ASCO 2018, QIAGEN is showcasing new panels for the GeneReader NGS System ahead of market launch, including the GeneRead™ QIAact BRCA Advanced Panel, a comprehensive assay for research in somatic and hereditary mutations, and the QIAact Myeloid DNA Panel, which supports myeloid neoplasm research, covering 25 highly relevant genes and their variants including SNVs and InDels. In addition, a new version of the successful GeneRead QIAact Actionable Insights Tumor Panel will be released which features even higher analytical sensitivity and specificity for somatic variants. The panels are currently available for research use only.
This year at ASCO, at least 20 scientific abstracts feature solutions ranging across QIAGEN’s Sample to Insight workflow, including liquid and tissue biopsies on the GeneReader NGS System. Abstracts highlight the application of the QIAGEN GeneReader NGS platform worldwide, including:
- “NGS for cancer testing: A clinical laboratory’s perspective,” from CLIA-licensed lab at Legacy Health, Portland, Oregon, affirming the rapid setup of the GeneReader system and showing its reliability with more than 100 samples (Abstract # e24158).
- “Implementation of the GeneReader NGS System in a molecular pathology laboratory,” from Institut für Pathologies Landeskrankenhaus Feldkirch, Austria, noting the low hands-on time and high accuracy of the platform for routine cancer mutational analysis (Abstract # e24175).
- “Using GeneReader NGS System to identify mutations in BRCA1/2 genes in matched FFPE and blood samples,” from QIAGEN researchers in the United Kingdom and Denmark, demonstrating the integrated GeneReader workflow in germline and somatic breast cancers (Abstract # e17536).
- “Using the GeneReader NGS System and QIAact lung all-in-one assay to detect complex mutations and fusions,” from QIAGEN researchers in the United Kingdom and Denmark, showcasing the comprehensive test in lung cancer as part of a seamless GeneReader workflow (Abstract # e21193).
QIAGEN will demonstrate Sample to Insight solutions and meet with ASCO attendees in Booth #5113 in McCormick Place South, Exhibit Hall A. For details on QIAGEN’s presence at ASCO 2018 please visit http://annualoncologymeeting18.qiagen.com/.
QIAGEN N.V., a Netherlands-based holding company, is the leading global provider of Sample to Insight solutions that enable customers to gain valuable molecular insights from samples containing the building blocks of life. Our sample technologies isolate and process DNA, RNA and proteins from blood, tissue and other materials. Assay technologies make these biomolecules visible and ready for analysis. Bioinformatics software and knowledge bases interpret data to report relevant, actionable insights. Automation solutions tie these together in seamless and cost-effective workflows. QIAGEN provides solutions to more than 500,000 customers around the world in Molecular Diagnostics (human healthcare), Applied Testing (primarily forensics), Pharma (pharma and biotech companies) and Academia (life sciences research). As of March 31, 2018, QIAGEN employed approximately 4,700 people in over 35 locations worldwide. Further information can be found at http://www.qiagen.com.
Freenome is an AI genomics company on a mission to empower everyone with the tools they need to detect, treat, and ultimately prevent their diseases. By applying advanced machine learning techniques to recent breakthroughs in genomic science, Freenome is developing noninvasive blood tests to detect early-stage cancer and make treatments more effective. The company has raised $78 million from investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, Polaris Partners, and Founders Fund. More information at: https://www.freenome.com/.
Certain statements contained in this press release may be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. To the extent that any of the statements contained herein relating to QIAGEN's products, launches, regulatory submissions, collaborations, markets, strategy, taxes or operating results, including without limitation its expected sales, adjusted net sales and adjusted diluted earnings per share results, are forward-looking, such statements are based on current expectations and assumptions that involve a number of uncertainties and risks. Such uncertainties and risks include, but are not limited to, risks associated with management of growth and international operations (including the effects of currency fluctuations, regulatory processes and dependence on logistics); variability of operating results and allocations between customer classes; the commercial development of markets for our products to customers in academia, pharma, applied testing and molecular diagnostics; changing relationships with customers, suppliers and strategic partners; competition; rapid or unexpected changes in technologies; fluctuations in demand for QIAGEN's products (including fluctuations due to general economic conditions, the level and timing of customers' funding, budgets and other factors); our ability to obtain regulatory approval of our products; difficulties in successfully adapting QIAGEN's products to integrated solutions and producing such products; the ability of QIAGEN to identify and develop new products and to differentiate and protect our products from competitors' products; market acceptance of QIAGEN's new products and the integration of acquired technologies and businesses; and the other factors discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” contained in Item 3 of our most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F. For further information, please refer to the discussions in reports that QIAGEN has filed with, or furnished to, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).