24 Jul 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: Qiagen entered in a partnership with Exosome Diagnostics to develop and commercialize high-performance sample preparation kits for the processing of nucleic acids from exosomes. Combining the Exosome Diagnostics platform technology approach with select Qiagen consumables and automation platforms has the potential to allow researchers, drug developers and doctors to take repeated, real-time genetic "snapshots" of disease from patients' blood, urine or cerebrospinal fluid without the need for tissue biopsy. The companies are targeting initial product launches in the first half of 2014. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed yet.
Subject to successful performances of these new solutions, Qiagen's exclusive agreement with Exosome Diagnostics will cover co-development, manufacturing and commercialization of a full product line for the life science and translational medicine markets. First applications of Exosome Diagnostics' technology are being developed with Qiagen's microRNA isolation solutions and are designed to run on Qiagen automated instrument platforms. The product portfolio is also expected to create the basis for development and commercialization of clinical in-vitro diagnostic products for a range of non-invasive personalized healthcare solutions.
Exosomes are one of many different subpopulations of microvesicles that can be isolated from biofluids such as blood, urine and cerebrospinal fluid and from which high-quality RNA and DNA can be extracted and purified for analysis. Exosomes are shed by cells under both normal and pathological conditions. They are a key part of the body's complex communication system that transfers genetic instructions from cell to cell through all biofluids. Exosomes carry nucleic acids and proteins from their host cells and are widely considered to be essential for biomarker discovery for personalized healthcare diagnostics.
Qiagen's exosome technology-driven kits will offer distinct advantages including the ability to work with scalable patient sample volumes, from as little as 200µL; RNA capture from frozen, bio-banked fluids; the use of plasma, urine and cerebrospinal fluid with no special stabilization or handling required; and streamlined clinical laboratory workflow for analysis on PCR, pyrosequencing and next-generation sequencing (NGS) instruments. Previously, such analysis would have depended on the use of tissue and/or cells, potentially requiring invasive procedures for patients.
Mr James McCullough, CEO, Exosome Diagnostics, said that, "Our partnership with Qiagen brings unprecedented access to key genetic information directly from a patient's biofluid sample for academic, biomedical research and pharmaceutical drug programs around the world. We expect this partnership, focused on development of a broad range of products, will help accelerate commercialization of the next generation of minimally invasive, clinical-grade diagnostics for personalized healthcare."