QIAGEN Acquires Comprehensive Portfolio of Molecular Food Safety Tests

May 25, 2010

GERMANTOWN, Maryland and HILDEN, Germany, May 25, 2010
/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — QIAGEN (NASDAQ: QGEN; Frankfurt, Prime Standard:
QIA) today announced that it has entered into an agreement with the Institute
for Product Quality (ifp), pursuant to which QIAGEN has acquired all rights
to 70 molecular food safety tests developed by the Berlin-based specialized
laboratory center for food analysis. The transaction further strengthens
QIAGEN’s “Applied Testing” business segment, which also encompasses molecular
testing systems for forensic applications, veterinary medicine and
biodefense. No financial details were disclosed.

The tests acquired from ifp are based on the widely used real-time PCR
(Polymerase Chain Reaction) technology and cover a broad range of molecular
targets including genetic, bacterial, viral and other contaminants of
foodstuffs. The tests can be fully automated using QIAGEN’s own instruments
such as the QIAsymphony and the Rotor-Gene Q. The transaction enables QIAGEN
to offer complete solutions for all major applications in the food safety
testing segment, covering entire workflows from the processing of primary
samples to the final testing result.

“With this unique assay portfolio we are laying the foundation for a very
strong position in the area of food safety testing and significantly
strengthening the area of applied testing overall,” said Peer Schatz, Chief
Executive Officer of QIAGEN. “Applied testing represents an important growth
area for our company. Here, we are focusing on select segments with a
relevant market volume, a growing demand for molecular testing technologies
and a high potential for growth. We believe that the food testing segment
matches this profile and we look forward to continuously expanding our
position in this market.”

Applied testing currently accounts for 7% of the company’s net sales, yet
it is one of the most dynamic market segments for QIAGEN, with a revenue
growth of 28% at constant exchange rates in the past quarter alone.
Currently, QIAGEN’s sales in applied testing predominantly go to customers in
forensics, veterinary medicine and biodefense. Food safety testing is a
steadily growing segment with an overall market volume of more than US$ 2
. The market breaks down into four application groups: detection of
pathogens, quality controls (such as testing for components subjected to
illicit genetic modification), detection of allergens and identification of
animal species. The increasing demand for food safety testing is being driven
by evolving consumer awareness, more stringent legal requirements and the
growing needs of food manufacturers who find themselves confronted with ever
more complex sample base materials, as well as new pathogens that are
increasingly difficult to detect.

Molecular tests, and in particular real-time PCR-based assays, are
gaining more widespread use in such applications as they are significantly
faster and more reliable than traditional methods and also allow for the
detection of genetic targets. With their help, for instance, food producers
can obtain certainty as to the safety of their planned deliveries within less
than 24 hours.

“The safety of our products is top priority for us,” explains

Andreas-Michael Peter, Director, Quality Management at food manufacturer
Zentis (
) in Aachen, Germany. “PCR methods are playing an ever more important role
for us within the context of our quality controls, as they offer a maximum in
reliability and speed in detection and documentation.”

The share of PCR-based methods in the food safety area is approx. 15 -
20% of the overall market. Prior to adding a commercial test menu, QIAGEN
addressed this segment with technologies for sample processing and reagents
required for the development of customized “homebrew” tests. Molecular food
safety testing using PCR technology is presently still more widespread in the
USA than in Europe and Asia; in individual segments, it is meanwhile regarded
as the gold standard. An example for its growing importance is the
cooperation between QIAGEN and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
ID=218) The program started in late 2008 and is aimed at developing molecular
detection methods for pathogens in foodstuffs for the Chinese and
international markets. Experts believe that such tests can set new standards
in safety and protection of consumers.

(Due to the length of the above URL, it may be necessary to copy and
paste this hyperlink into your Internet browser’s URL address field. Remove
the space if one exists.)

ifp will continue producing all existing and future tests as an
independent entity in Berlin, Germany. The first test kits are expected to be
available through QIAGEN in the 4th quarter, 2010. QIAGEN therefore expects a
negative contribution by the transaction to the adjusted earnings per share
for 2010 of approx. US$ 0.01. The company is assuming positive profit
contributions for the subsequent years. Until 2012 the company plans to
expand the portfolio to the full number of 70 tests.


QIAGEN N.V., a Netherlands holding company, is the leading global
provider of sample and assay technologies. Sample technologies are used to
isolate and process DNA, RNA and proteins from biological samples such as
blood or tissue. Assay technologies are used to make these isolated
biomolecules visible. QIAGEN has developed and markets sample and assay
products as well as automated solutions for such consumables. The Company
provides its products to molecular diagnostics laboratories, academic
researchers, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and applied testing
customers for purposes such as forensics, animal or food testing and
pharmaceutical process control. QIAGEN’s assay technologies include one of
the broadest panels of molecular diagnostic tests available worldwide. This
panel includes the first FDA-approved test for human papillomavirus (HPV),
the primary cause of cervical cancer. QIAGEN employs more than 3,500 people
in over 30 locations worldwide. Further information about QIAGEN can be found
at http://www.qiagen.com/.

About ifp

Based in Berlin, ifp Institut fur Produktqualitat GmbH is an independent
laboratory and competence centre for modern food analytics. As a service
provider, the ifp offers its customers in this segment a complete range of
services which include the awarding of seals of approval for the safety of
foodstuffs. In addition to its service offering, the ifp also develops and
produces innovative products for food safety testing, molecular diagnostics
and veterinary medicine, and is involved in several research projects. The
ifp’s development pipeline comprises several novel product lines. In addition
to molecular testing systems, the product portfolio also includes
microbiological and immunological rapid tests. The products are distributed
and commercialized on a global scale through a network of selected
distribution partners. ifp employs 40 staff at the site. For more information
about ifp, go to http://www.produktqualitaet.com.

Certain of the statements contained in this news 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, markets, strategy
or operating results, including without limitation expected operating
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 business
segments, the commercial development of the applied testing markets, personal
healthcare markets, clinical research markets and proteomics markets, women’s
health/HPV testing markets, nucleic acid-based molecular diagnostics market,
and genetic vaccination and gene therapy markets, 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 infectious disease panels, 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 its products from competitors’ products, market
acceptance of QIAGEN’s new products and the integration of acquired
technologies and businesses. For further information, refer to the
discussions in reports that QIAGEN has filed with, or furnished to, the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

    Public Relations               Investor Relations

    Dr. Thomas Theuringer          Dr. Solveigh Maehler
    Director Public Relations      Director Investor Relations
    +49-2103-29-11826              +49-2103-29-11710

                                   Albert F. Fleury
                                   Investor Relations North America
    Email: pr@qiagen.com           Email: ir@qiagen.com


Source: newswire

comments powered by Disqus