DORTMUND, Germany—Protagen AG and QIAGEN have launched a long-term collaboration agreement to develop novel protein-based companion diagnostics for autoimmune disorders. Per the terms of the agreement, QIAGEN will have access to Protagen's proprietary SeroTag technology platform, though no financial details were disclosed. The deal will help accelerate SeroTag's advancement toward the market.
“Together with QIAGEN, we will be able to accelerate the market acceptance of our exciting technology and to significantly improve drug development in autoimmune disease as well as related disorders,” Stefan Müllner, CEO of Protagen, noted in a press release.
The SeroTag platform is a biomarker identification and development engine that enables the discovery and validation of novel protein-based marker panels. The automated multiplex technology allows users to validate novel autoantigens at high quality and speed. With this platform, high-throughput de-novo discovery of biomarker candidates is possible by measuring the levels of autoantibodies to thousands of distinct antigens in serum samples. The SeroTag technology can support drug development programs in autoimmune disease with development of diagnostic assays and companion diagnostic tests.
“Following cancer, autoimmune disorders are currently the second largest therapeutic area for companion diagnostics in drug development with a significant unmet medical need,” Rainer Metzger, QIAGEN's vice president of Business Development Pharma, commented in a statement. “Thanks to the collaboration with Protagen, we’ll now be able to offer our partners in the pharmaceutical industry a new diagnostic technology particularly well suited to advance personalized healthcare in autoimmune disorders and further expand our activities in this indication area.”
This announcement comes less than a week after QIAGEN released details of another partnership. On Nov. 11, the company announced that it had begun a master collaboration with Novartis AG to develop and commercialize companion diagnostics to go with existing Novartis pharmaceutical products, as well as candidate compounds in its pipeline. This non-exclusive agreement provides a framework for collaborations that could include developing QIAGEN companion diagnostics to guide treatment decisions regarding Novartis products. The scope allows for coverage of all QIAGEN platforms, indications or biomarkers. No financial details for the collaboration were disclosed. The deal represents the ninth master framework agreement QIAGEN has established centered on the development of companion diagnostics.
“We are very pleased to be working with Novartis in the development and commercialization of companion diagnostics to support their innovative pharmaceutical products. Healthcare providers are increasingly benefitting from personalized treatment strategies based on genomic insights, to select the right drug for the right patient at the right time and in the right dose," said Peer M. Schatz, CEO of QIAGEN. “This broad agreement gives Novartis and QIAGEN the flexibility to pursue co-development projects. We are committed working with our partners like Novartis to make improvements in life possible.”