GERMANTOWN, Md.—QIAGEN has inked a master collaborationagreement with Eli Lilly and Co. under which the companies will develop andcommercialize companion diagnostics to accompany investigational and approvedmedicines from Lilly in a variety of therapeutic areas. The companies did notspecify which medicines or indications they would pursue, and no financialdetails were disclosed. The agreement is a continuation of the partners' pastwork.
"We have expanded this relationship with Lilly as a result ofour ongoing work together," Dr. Ulrich Schriek, senior vice president of GlobalBusiness Development at QIAGEN, said in a press release about thecollaboration. "This agreement lays the groundwork for potential futureprojects with Lilly in various therapeutic areas and enables significantefficiencies for future development programs by standardizing interfaces andprocesses between our organizations. Through partnerships like this, QIAGENoffers pharma companies a cost-effective way to maximize the value and benefitsof potential new medicines in their pipelines, while also reducing the risks inmedicine development."
This collaboration lays the groundwork for the companies topartner on future projects across all of Lilly's areas of focus, and aims to bringLilly's medicines to market with QIAGEN companion diagnostics.
"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 DanielSkovronsky, M.D., Ph.D., vice president of tailored therapeutics at Lilly andCEO of Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lilly. "Thiscollaboration with QIAGEN extends our capabilities to more quickly andcost-effectively bring innovative new medicines, alongside advanceddiagnostics, to patients worldwide who are waiting."
This is not the first time QIAGEN and Lilly have partneredon companion diagnostics. In September 2011, QIAGEN announced a partnership todevelop, manufacture and commercialize a molecular companion diagnostic for oneof Lilly's early-stage compounds being investigated as a JAK2 inhibitor for thetreatment of blood cancers. QIAGEN was responsible for developing a companiondiagnostic test that would produce qualitative and quantitative results forJAK2 V617F, Lilly's compound. The agreement covered development and use ofQIAGEN's resulting assay in clinical trials as well as manufacturing and jointcommercialization of the diagnostic alongside Lilly's product. In addition, thecompanies have also collaborated on companion diagnostics designed to be run onQIAGEN's Rotor-Gene Q system.
In related news, QIAGEN has announced the adoption of its therascreen KRAS RGQ PCR Kit, a companion diagnostic for Erbituxwhen treating patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, by Clarient, a GEHealthcare company. Additionally, in early January, QIAGEN made a trio of dealsto add new biomarkers to its pipeline. The company has made an equityinvestment in Drug Response Dx GmbH for rheumatoid arthritis biomarkers whenpatients are treated with TNF-alpha inhibitors, signed a license agreement withInsight Genetics Inc. for biomarkers in non-small cell lung cancer and alsolicensed exclusive worldwide rights for a biomarker for HSP110 gene mutationsattributed to colorectal cancer from Inserm Transfert.