FREMONT, Calif.—WaferGen Bio-systems, Inc., a developer andmanufacturer of genetic analysis products, and QIAGEN KK—a subsidiary of QIAGENN.V.—have established a co-marketing agreement to jointly promote certainproducts in Japan, primarily in the realm of genomics platforms such asnext-generation sequencing (NGS) and qPCR. The partnership is intended toprovide life-science researchers with seamless project methods for acceleratingthe development of markers that represent potential candidates for moleculardiagnostics, combining WaferGen's SmartChip solution for biomarker validationand QIAGEN's PCRarrays.
"We are extremely pleased to be partnering in a jointcommercial effort with QIAGEN to bring our products to the research andindustrial communities in Japan," added Ivan Trifunovich, president and CEO ofWaferGen, noted in a statement. "Our product lines are highly complementary,together providing a total solution to our customers' needs. Since our July, 2012 launch of ourMyDesign open format instrument, we have received enthusiastically positivereviews from our early test sites and commercial customers in the U.S. andEurope. In conjunction with our highly regarded partner, we look forward tobuilding on these results in Japan. We are confident that our three-part valueproposition—platform flexibility, cost-effectiveness and no need forpre-amplification—will be strong drivers of customers' interest."
Per the terms of the agreement, WaferGen and QIAGEN willpromote and market each other's products in Japan. The two products that willbe specifically marketed are WaferGen's SmartChip platform and QIAGEN's NGSplatform. The NGS platform is in late-stage development, a benchtop sequencerthat comprises part of QIAGEN's strategy to develop NGS workflows that uniteinstrumentation and consumables into a sample-to-result offering that thecompany plans to launch later in 2013. QIAGEN and WaferGen will be workingclosely together to manufacture a commercial strategy. No financial details forthe partnership were disclosed.
"We are looking forward to expanding our portfolio oflife-science offerings in Japan through the co-marketing of WaferGen'shigh-throughput qPCR solution. There is a substantial customer need to ramp updiscovery efforts through targeted screening and confirmation, and ourintegrated approach will provide one-stop shopping for a variety of academicand industrial clients," Stephane Perrey, president of QIAGEN KK, said in apress release. "We will be able to guide customers through the series of stepsnecessary for an effective biomarker discovery and validation program, byproviding both the instrumentation and assays necessary for the accomplishmentof their scientific goals. We havesuccessfully evaluated WaferGen's SmartChip System, and we believe that it canplay an important role in our comprehensive product offering."
The agreement is the second announced by QIAGEN so far thismonth. The company announced last week that it had signed a broad collaborationagreement with Eli Lilly and Co. to develop and commercialize companiondiagnostics to be paired with investigational and approved medicines from Lillycovering all therapeutic areas. QIAGEN and Lilly have worked together in thepast on companion diagnostics designed for us on QIAGEN's Rotor-Gene Q system.
SOURCE: WaferGen press release