GERMANTOWN, Md.—QIAGEN announced May 3 that it has joinedthe Point-of-Care Diagnostics (POC Dx) Initiative led by the Bill & MelindaGates Foundation and Grand Challenges Canada to create a new moleculardiagnostics platform to serve resource-poor regions of the world.
QIAGEN is joining more than 20 nonprofit, academic andcorporate organizations in the POC Dx Initiative, which aims to catalyze a"diagnostics revolution" for the developing world. The goal of the initiativeis to create new platforms that enable high-quality, low-cost point-of-carediagnosis, and to make systematic and sustainable improvements in healthcare inthe developing world.
In a press release announcing its participation, QIAGENnoted that the development of affordable and portable diagnostic systems is oneof the 16 Grand Challenges in Global Health, an initiative that seeks toenhance healthcare in the world's poorest countries, and the company hasalready started the development of a portable instrument based on its advancedmolecular testing technologies for point-of-need applications.
QIAGEN's role in the initiative is to develop aneasy-to-use, portable molecular testing device that can perform diagnostictests in the field, far from hospital or laboratory infrastructure. This taskalso encompasses the creation of a corresponding assay technology suited foruse in low-resource settings. This project is part of the technologydevelopment phase of the POC Dx initiative, which will then integratesuccessful technologies into a multifunctional point-of-care platform.
"The new low-cost portable testing devices currently underdevelopment are intended to enable reliable, quick diagnosis and timeliertreatment of patients," said Dr. Ellen Sheets, chief medical officer of QIAGEN,in a statement. "We believe that modern diagnostic technologies can have a verysignificant positive impact on developing countries, helping to save lives,reduce economic impacts, and curtail the spread of infectious diseases."