15-Jun-2011

Qiagen aims to buy competitor Ipsogen

Dutch pharmaceutical firm Qiagen aims to buy 47% of French cancer molecular diagnostics firm Ipsogen for about €70m (US$100m), and later make an offer for the remaining stake.

Qiagen said the acquisition would cement its leading position globally in blood cancer molecular diagnostics testing.

Ipsogen, based in Marseilles, was founded in 1999 and employs around 70 people in France and the US.

The transaction will give Qiagen access to a range of assays covering 15 biomarkers for the diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring of blood cancers. The firm said many of these tests are used as companion diagnostics in personalised healthcare for guiding treatment decisions.

‘This portfolio would further increase our leading position in profiling assays, as well as in companion diagnostics for personalised healthcare, helping to improve the treatment of many diseases and addressing unmet medical needs,’ said Peer Schatz, chief executive of Qiagen.

Qiagen has more than 20 molecular diagnostic assays as well as more than 15 projects underway with pharmaceutical companies.

Most of Ipsogen's assays have CE-IVD marking in Europe and can be used on Qiagen's Rotor-Gene Q real-time PCR system. The company says this will enable the smooth and rapid transfer of these products onto Qiagen's QIAsymphony RGQ, an integrated sample-to-result laboratory automation platform that includes the Rotor-Gene Q system.

If the acquisition goes through, Ipsogen's Marseilles site would become a global centre of excellence within Qiagen focused on leukaemia and breast cancer, and act as a development and manufacturing centre for other molecular tests.

The managing co-founders of Ipsogen – Vincent Fert (chief executive), Stephane Debono (chief operating officer) and Fabienne Hermitte (R&D and Regulatory Affairs Senior Director) – are expected to stay with Qiagen following the acquisition.

‘Ipsogen has created a portfolio of molecular assays that are advancing treatment standards for patients with blood cancers, and we are now moving forward in creating new products to support women with breast cancer,’ said Fert.

‘As part of Qiagen, we believe our efforts would be accelerated and benefit from an industry leading company and could offer even greater options to patients and healthcare providers around the world.’

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