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ots Ad hoc-Service: Qiagen N.V.
QIAGEN and Zeptosens Announce Strategic Alliance
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Hilden (ots Ad hoc-Service) - The Managing Board of QIAGEN N.V. (Nasdaq: QGENF, Frankfurt, Neuer Markt: QIA) hereby announces that QIAGEN has entered into a worldwide, multi-year collaborative agreement with Zeptosens AG to develop integrated, multi-analyte detection systems allowing unparalleled performance in speed, cost and especially sensitivity for certain applications in life sciences including functional genomics, toxicology, and pharmacogenomics.
The alliance intends to build on the powerful combination of Zeptosens' proprietary and innovative planar waveguide (PWG) platform detection technology that allows significant increase in detection sensitivity for biological and chemical sensors and especially microarrays and biochips, Zeptosens' extensive know-how in sensor surface chemistry and high sensitivity / high selectivity assay architecture with QIAGEN's proprietary instrumentation and consumable technologies for nucleic acid extraction, handling, purification and detection.
In early 1999 QIAGEN contributed as a founding investor to Zeptosens' initial financing and today holds a significant minority position in Zeptosens' equity capital. In addition to the equity contribution, QIAGEN has agreed to fund certain product development relating to nucleic acid detection and analysis to which QIAGEN has received worldwide and exclusive commercialization rights. QIAGEN expects to commercialize products based on these unique PWG technologies to academic, clinical and industrial research markets in the life sciences and genomics areas. The parties are targeting introduction of their first product based on this alliance which will include matched instrumentation and consumables in the year 2001.
The Managing Board of QIAGEN believes that this is a further milestone in QIAGEN' s strategy to combine and leverage QIAGEN's strength in nucleic acid purification and handling with a leading, highly proprietary and what they believe to be exceptionally powerful nucleic acid analysis technology platform and that this alliance adds a further and potentially very strong strategic position to QIAGEN's Genomics Business Unit
Zeptosens AG is an independent company based in Witterswil near Basel, Switzerland. The Company is focused on developing and commercializing bioanalytical technologies for use in life sciences as well as in food and environmental analysis. Zeptosens was founded by a leading team of experts in pharmaceutical life science analytics from Novartis Pharma AG and initiated operations in spring 1999. Zeptosens acquired from Novartis Pharma AG exclusive worldwide rights to exploit its proprietary planar waveguide technology for all applications (including applications in genomics) except for use for the diagnosis of human and veterinary health, for which Bayer Corporation, Business Group Diagnostics, was granted exclusive rights.
In addition, Zeptosens acquired a portfolio of intellectual property rights outside the planar waveguide technology pertaining to bioanalysis from Novartis Pharma AG and certain academic research institutes. The company is aggressively patenting its own R&D results and constantly seeking to further broaden its analytical technology platforms. Zeptosens has established collaborations with several leading academic research teams in order to rapidly expand its technology basis and it is open for additional partnerships in other high sensitivity bioassays and technologies.
QIAGEN is today one of the largest companies serving the biotechnology industry and employs over 1000 employees in manufacturing, research, sales, marketing and administration in 12 group companies world-wide. The German group company, which is mainly active in the areas of research and manufacturing, employs over 500 employees. Over half of the Company's consolidated net sales are recorded in the United States of America.
QIAGEN N.V., a Netherlands holding company with subsidiaries in Germany, the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Australia and Canada, believes it is the world's leading provider of innovative enabling technologies and products for the separation, purification and handling of nucleic acids. The Company has developed a comprehensive portfolio of more than 280 proprietary, consumable products for nucleic acid separation, purification and handling, nucleic acid amplification, as well as automated instrumentation and related services. QIAGEN's products are sold in more than 42 countries throughout the world to academic research markets and also to leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. In addition, the Company is positioning its products for sale into developing commercial markets, including DNA sequencing and genomics, nucleic acid-based molecular diagnostics, and genetic vaccination and gene therapy.
Certain of the statements contained in this news release may be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. To the extent that any of the statements contained herein relating to QIAGEN's products and markets and operating results are forward-looking, such statements are based on current expectations that involve a number of uncertainties and risks. Such uncertainties and risks include, but are not limited to, risks associated with the challenges expected in integrating newly-acquired businesses into QIAGEN's operations, management of growth and international operations (including the effects of currency fluctuations), variability of operating results, the commercial development of the DNA sequencing and genomics market, nucleic acid-based molecular diagnostics market, and genetic vaccination and gene therapy markets, competition, rapid or unexpected changes in technologies, fluctuations in demand for QIAGEN's products (including seasonal fluctuations), difficulties in successfully adapting the Company's products to integrated solutions and producing such products, and the Company's ability to identify and develop new products and to differentiate its products from competitors. For further information, refer to the discussion in reports that the Company has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Contact: Peer M. Schatz, Chief Financial Officer, QIAGEN N.V., 0031 77 320 8400, eMail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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