HILDEN, Germany—Building on "the two companies' recentmutual successes," QIAGEN NV announced in mid-February that it has entered intoa master collaboration agreement with Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly & Co. todevelop and commercialize companion diagnostics for pairing with Lillyinvestigational and approved medicines across all therapeutic areas.
This agreement builds on past work between QIAGEN and Lilly,going back to fall 2011 when they announced a partnership around thedevelopment, manufacturing and commercialization of a molecular companiondiagnostic for an early-stage investigational JAK2 inhibitor compound foroncology under development by Lilly.
"The collaboration with Lilly is a strong testament toQIAGEN's capabilities in companion diagnostics, biomarkers and personalizedhealthcare," said Dr. Stephen Little, vice president personalized healthcare atQIAGEN, at that time. QIAGEN currently offers some 20 tests for use inpersonalized healthcare.
In addition, as QIAGEN has made note of recently, it is"actively expanding its pipeline of personalized healthcare technologies andintends to submit several companion diagnostics in the coming years for U.S.regulatory approval." As part of that, QIAGEN notes that it has more than 15projects underway to co-develop and market companion diagnostics with leadingpharmaceutical and biotech companies, including such Lilly peers as Amgen,AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer.
The new and expanded agreement between QIAGEN and Lilly—thefinancial terms of which are not being disclosed—"provides a framework forLilly and QIAGEN to collaborate on future projects—across all of Lilly'stherapeutic areas," notes QIAGEN.
"It also further underscores QIAGEN's leading position inpartnering with global pharmaceutical companies to deliver the benefits ofpersonalized medicine to patients and healthcare providers."
"Tailored therapies are a key component of Lilly's strategyof providing improved outcomes for individual patients. By working withpartners like QIAGEN, we are advancing a number of tailored therapeutics in aneffort to target the right medicine to the right patient," said Dr. DanielSkovronsky, vice president of tailored therapeutics at Lilly and CEO of AvidRadiopharmaceuticals, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lilly. "This collaborationwith QIAGEN extends our capabilities to more quickly and cost-effectively bringinnovative new medicines, alongside advanced diagnostics, to patients worldwidewho are waiting."
This expanded relationship with Lilly is a direct result ofthe companies' ongoing work together, according to Dr. Ulrich Schriek, seniorvice president of global business development for QIAGEN, who adds, "Thisagreement lays the groundwork for potential future projects with Lilly invarious therapeutic areas and enables significant efficiencies for futuredevelopment programs by standardizing interfaces and processes between ourorganizations. Through partnerships like this, QIAGEN offers pharma companies acost-effective way to maximize the value and benefits of potential new medicinesin their pipelines, while also reducing the risks in medicine development."
QIAGEN maintains that it is at the forefront globally indeveloping and validating personalized healthcare tests that provide physicianswith genomic information to guide the selection of medicines in treatingdisease, pointing, for example, to last month's announced submission of itstherascreen EGFR RGQ PCR Kit test to the U.S. Food and Drug Association (FDA)as a proposed companion diagnostic to guide treatment with a new investigationaloncology compound developed by Boehringer Ingelheim.
QIAGEN and Lilly also previously collaborated on companiondiagnostics designed to run on QIAGEN's Rotor-Gene Q system, a component of theQIAsymphony family of automated instruments. QIAGEN's strategy is to developFDA-approved diagnostics in the United States for use on this platform.
Looking at the most recent Lilly deal and deals that led upto it, both with Lilly and with other partners, Zacks Investment Research wrotein an investor's note Feb. 15 that, "We are encouraged by QIAGEN's goodprogress and strategic moves, which complement its objective to leverageleadership in sample and assay technologies across its four customer classes."
Zacks Investment Research