German healthcare company, Qiagen, targets non-invasive prenatal testing market

non-invasive prenatal testing

Qiagen partners with Natera to capture non-invasive prenatal testing market

Qiagen has developed a cell-free prenatal testing technology. Pregnant mothers can undergo non-invasive prenatal testing to prevent birth defects in babies.

Prenatal testing is done to determine abnormalities before birth. However, the tests cannot detect all birth defects and inherited disorders. Prenatal screening tests include glucose tolerance tests performed to determine gestational diabetes. These tests are performed during the first, second and third trimesters.

Qiagen, a Germany-based company mainly focusing on oncology market, has now joined hands with its long-time customer, Natera to develop assays for NIPT-non-invasive prenatal testing.

QIAGEN N.V. and Natera would develop cell-free DNA assays for use on QIAGEN’s Gene Reader NGS System. The partnership will raise $40 million together. Prior to this collaboration, Qiagen solely focused on its oncology department.

Jonathan Arnold who is the Vice President, Head of Oncology & Precision Diagnostics at Qiagen told MD+DI, “We’ve always felt that to have a leading and winning solution we need to focus on the content,” He further said, “It’s not just about the sequencer or solution, it’s about what that system is actually sequencing. This partnership with Natera also allows us to move outside of oncology.”

Natera’s Constellation™ software would help QIAGEN Clinical Insights (QCI) bioinformatics solution as users can directly access this software efficiently. Prenatal screening service would help the clinics across the globe.

Natera specializes in non-invasive cell-free DNA testing which eventually provides efficient solutions for NIPT including Spectrum preimplantation genetic testing (PGD/PGS), Panorama® and Vistara™, Horizon™ genetic-carrier testing, Anora® miscarriage testing and Signatera™ (RUO) – a high-sensitivity assay that is used in oncology research. These NIPT methods would use blood samples thereby reflecting the power of liquid biopsy to gain insights.

Qiagen’s PAXgene blood cell-free DNA collection and sample processing technology would allow healthcare professionals to determine baby’s risk of common genetic conditions.

This technology selectively differentiates fetal placental DNA from the background of the mother’s DNAs, further giving detail insight to the doctors pertaining to baby’s genetic issues.

Peer M. Schatz, Chief Executive Officer of QIAGEN N.V. said, “We are excited to partner with Natera, a global market leader in non-invasive cell-free DNA genetic testing. Through this strategic partnership, we are planning to offer assays that provide significant clinical and economic value backed by extensive validation data and large clinical studies. We intend to make these assays available on the GeneReader NGS System to laboratories around the world that are very eager to bring in-house genetic testing across several applications, including prenatal screening.”

He further added, “The addition of these assays, along with Natera’s Constellation software, will substantially increase the system’s value and utility for a broader range of customers beyond the current menu focused on oncology.”

Moreover, Matthew Rabinowitz, CEO of Natera said that this strategic partnership is an important milestone in the development of Natera, and we welcome the opportunity to partner with QIAGEN since both companies share a commitment to providing customers with actionable and often life-changing clinical insights.

Qiagen is expanding their business operations and this is the reason that they are collaborating with other companies apart from NIPT firms. Recently they have partnered with Angle which is a cell diagnostics company. The team at Qiagen is excited to do further research in the eHealth market.

Image credit: www.maternalfetalcarepc.com

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