Major HPV Dx move

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VENLO, The Netherlands—July 30, 2007—Qiagen announced the completion of its acquisition of diagnostics company Digene Corp. Digene shareholders opted to tender more than 94 percent of their shares, most in exchange for Qiagen stock. The untendered Digene stock has been converted to the right to receive either $61.25 in cash or 3.545 Qiagen shares.
VENLO, the Netherlands—In a cash and stock deal reaching approximately $1.6 billion, sample prep and assay development giant Qiagen N.V. announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Gaithersburg, Md.-based molecular diagnostics firm Digene. The deal will be transacted as an exchange offer, followed by a merger of Digene into a subsidiary of Qiagen.
"This transaction creates significant value for our shareholders and instantaneous market and technology leadership in what is one of the most exciting areas of life sciences and healthcare: molecular diagnostics," says Qiagen CEO Peer Schatz. "The joint franchises link virology with oncology, thereby creating an exceptional platform to add next-generation and high-value molecular diagnostic products and strategically position the company for future growth."
Perhaps the key asset to this transaction, which is expected to close in late summer, is the Digene HPV Test, the only FDA-approved and CE-marked human papillomavirus test on the market—a market that has grown dramatically in the wake of the recent linkage of HPV infection with cervical cancer and could soon reach $1 billion according to company estimates.
In February, a report from Kalorama Information suggested that the market for molecular diagnostics, which sits near $18 billion, could easily increase more than five-fold to $92 billion by 2016 with an annual average growth rate of 41%. "As each molecular diagnostic moves from a specialized technology of limited use to a mainstream activity in the clinical laboratory once its relevance and role in the treatment of disease are established, the use of these tests should become more of the norm in the global market," noted report author Dr. Kenneth G. Krul.

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