Expanding range of applications for growing base of QIAcuity digital PCR instruments
Two new collaborations: Atila BioSystems expands menu to non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), while Actome partnership designed to enable for the first time protein analysis using digital PCR technology
HILDEN, Germany & GERMANTOWN, Md.QIAGEN N.V. (NYSE: QGEN; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) today announced new additions to the growing number of applications for QIAcuity, its ultrasensitive digital PCR (dPCR) platform that has set new standards by using so-called nanoplates to process samples in two hours rather than the five hours required by other systems.
QIAGEN has entered into two new collaborations that extend the QIAcuity ecosystem:
A collaboration with Atila BioSystems to provide non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) solutions to QIAGEN’s dPCR franchise. NIPT requires only a blood sample from the mother, and replaces more invasive testing methods such as amniocentesis that can endanger the fetus and mother.
A co-exclusive licensing and co-marketing agreement with German life-sciences start-up Actome GmbH extends QIAcuity’s reach beyond genomics into proteomics, enabling the quantification of proteins as well as the analyses of interactions between different proteins and between proteins and target genes.
“QIAcuity is expanding into new research fields as a cost-effective and very reliable digital PCR system,” said Thomas Schweins, Senior Vice President, Head of the Life Science Business Area at QIAGEN. “The partnership with Actome extends for the first time the use of this technology to protein quantification and protein-protein interaction. Our aim is to make digital PCR and QIAcuity the new standard in PCR. This technology is significantly more robust and precise than traditional real-time PCR. In particular, it enables the quantification of rare genetic events – such as cancer mutations – with very high precision and in absolute terms, even in a high background of wildtype genes. We expect more than half of all traditional PCR applications to eventually move to digital PCR.”
QIAcuity disperses a sample over thousands of tiny nanoplate partitions and then simultaneously reads the reaction in each one. This enables it to quantify even the faintest signals from DNA and RNA – and now proteins – as it tests for viruses, bacteria or other disorders, including rare cancer mutations. Its precision has already established QIAcuity as a vital tool in testing wastewater for SARS-CoV-2.
Leveraging QIAGEN’s capabilities in dPCR and also sample preparation, Atila BioSystems has launched the iSAFE™ Non-Invasive Prenatal Test Kit for use on QIAcuity in singleton pregnancies. The Research Use Only test can detect targets that indicate possible chromosomal anomalies – trisomy 21 associated with Down Syndrome, trisomy 18 associated with Edwards Syndrome, and trisomy 13 associated with Patau Syndrome and fetal fractions. Processing on QIAcuity takes only 2.5 hours compared to five hours for rival devices, and comes with five detection channels, making it the system with the highest multiplexing capabilities for this application.
The partnership with Actome involves a co-marketing agreement and provides QIAGEN with a co-exclusive license for digital PCR applications to use Actome’s patented Protein-Interaction-Coupling (PICO)-Technology on QIAcuity as an ultrasensitive method to measure smallest amounts of proteins and the interaction between proteins as well as between proteins and genes. The PICO-Technology translates complex protein status into DNA barcodes that can be amplified and detected on QIAcuity.
As part of the agreement, QIAGEN has made an undisclosed investment in Actome. The companies will now jointly develop assays for protein quantification, which will complement genomic analysis and help establish a fuller picture of a disease. The technology has the potential to drive the discovery of new biomarkers and the development of new drugs and diagnostics. It is a step on the path to understanding the interactome, all the molecular interactions in a cell, that contribute to diseases.
QIAGEN N.V., a Netherlands-based holding company, is the leading global provider of Sample to Insight solutions that enable customers to gain valuable molecular insights from samples containing the building blocks of life. Our sample technologies isolate and process DNA, RNA and proteins from blood, tissue and other materials. Assay technologies make these biomolecules visible and ready for analysis. Bioinformatics software and knowledge bases interpret data to report relevant, actionable insights. Automation solutions tie these together in seamless and cost-effective workflows. QIAGEN provides solutions to more than 500,000 customers around the world in Molecular Diagnostics (human healthcare), Applied Testing (primarily forensics), Pharma (pharma and biotech companies) and Academia (life sciences research). As of December 31, 2021, QIAGEN employed more than 6,000 people in over 35 locations worldwide. Further information can be found at http://www.qiagen.com.
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