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Qiagen, Sysmex Form Global Companion Diagnostic Development Pact

NEW YORK – Qiagen said on Thursday that it has formed a global strategic alliance with Japan's Sysmex to develop and commercialize cancer companion diagnostics using Sysmex's Plasma-Safe-SeqS next-generation sequencing technology.

Under the partnership, the companies aim to foster collaborations with pharmaceutical companies to develop cancer therapies and promote the early clinical adoption of ultra-sensitive liquid biopsy companion diagnostics. The companies said that they intend to commercialize such products in various regions of the world.

On its website, Sysmex describes Plasma-Safe-SeqS as a "pretreatment technology" designed to reduce NGS reading errors through tagging of amplified DNA, resulting in "ultra-high sensitivity."

"Combining Qiagen's global reach with Sysmex's NGS capabilities is an important milestone in advancing the use of NGS technologies in clinical decision making and is a testament to our shared vision of using this powerful technology to improve outcomes for patients worldwide," Jean-Pascal Viola, senior VP and head of molecular diagnostics and corporate business development at Qiagen, said in a statement. "This alliance will add strong NGS capabilities to our regulatory and clinical expertise and commercialization, and help our partners in the pharmaceuticals industry by expanding our strong position and product offering in companion diagnostics."

Sysmex and Qiagen have partnered in the area of cancer diagnostics for at least the last decade. Last year, Sysmex launched the Ipsogen JAK2 DX reagent in Japan through a 2011 distribution deal with Ipsogen, now part of Qiagen. The test is used to diagnose certain hematopoietic tumors.