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QIAGEN, Exosome Diagnostics to develop biofluid sample prep kits
by Kelsey Kaustinen  |  Email the author


GERMANTOWN, Md.QIAGEN N.V. has begun a partnership with Exosome Diagnostics Inc. for the development and commercialization of high-performance sample preparation kits for the processing of nucleic acids from exosomes. No financial terms were released. The partnership brings together Exosome Diagnostics' platform technology with QIAGEN consumables and automation platforms with the potential to enable repeated, real-time genetic "snapshots" of disease from patient samples of blood, urine or cerebrospinal fluid without requiring tissue biopsy. The two companies are aiming for initial product launches in the first half of next year.
If the new solutions are successful, QIAGEN's exclusive agreement with Exosome Diagnostics will include co-development, manufacturing and commercialization of a full product line for the life-science and translational medicine markets. The first applications of Exosome Diagnostics' technology are being combined with QIAGEN's microRNA isolation solution, and will run on QIAGEN automated instrument platforms.
"QIAGEN is a global leader in personalized healthcare solutions, and Exosome Diagnostics is a leading developer in biofluid-based molecular testing. Together we expect to create the 'gold standard' in this emerging field of exosome-based testing, advancing research and improving healthcare," said Dirk Loeffert, vice president of Global Product Development Life Sciences of QIAGEN. "We believe QIAGEN can bring to market the first comprehensive line of products to help researchers and pharmaceutical companies explore and monitor disease status using fresh or frozen biofluids, addressing the critical challenge of access to samples. We also intend to co-develop exosome-based workflows for routine use in personalized healthcare, a revolutionary improvement compared to today's widespread dependence on tissue biopsies, offering the ability to create a new dimension of utility for our molecular-testing assay portfolio. This approach holds promise to significantly improve medical care as physicians may be able to use real-time molecular information to change the care pathway and bring about disease management."  
Exosomes are a subpopulation of microvesicles that can be isolated from biofluids such as blood, urine and cerebrospinal fluid. High-quality RNA and DNA can be extracted from exosomes, which are shed by cells under normal and pathological conditions, and purified for analysis. Exosomes also exist as a key part of the body's communication system that carries genetic instructions from cell to cell. They contain nucleic acids and proteins from their hosts cells and are generally considered essential for biomarker discovery when it comes to personalized healthcare diagnostics. Exosome Diagnostics' proprietary technology takes advantage of the presence of nucleic acids in exosomes to detect and measure the levels of genes associated with cancer, neurodegenerative, metabolic, infectious and other diseases.  
The exosome technology-driven kits from QIAGEN will enable users to work with scalable patient sample volumes from as little as 200, as well as RNA capture from frozen, bio-banked fluids. The kits will also enable the use of plasma, urine and cerebrospinal fluid without requiring special stabilization or handling, and streamlined clinical laboratory workflow for analysis on PCR, pyrosequencing and next-generation sequencing instruments. This approach allows such analyses to be performed without requiring tissue and/or cells that might involve invasive procedures.  
"Our partnership with QIAGEN brings unprecedented access to key genetic information directly from a patient's biofluid sample for academic, biomedical research and pharmaceutical drug programs around the world," James McCullough, CEO of Exosome Diagnostics, said in a press release. "We expect this partnership, focused on development of a broad range of products, will help accelerate commercialization of the next generation of minimally invasive, clinical-grade diagnostics for personalized healthcare."    
SOURCE: QIAGEN press release
Code: E07241301



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