JCVI: Qiagen Genomics Signs Tuberculosis SNP Genotyping Research and License Agreement with TIGR and Montefiore Medical Center
 
 
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Press Release 14-Mar-2001

PRESS RELEASE

Qiagen Genomics Signs Tuberculosis SNP Genotyping Research and License Agreement with TIGR and Montefiore Medical Center

Groups collaborate to analyze genetic variation in different strains of M. tuberculosis

March 14, 2001

Seattle, Washington, USA, March 15, 2001 - QIAGEN Genomics, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of QIAGEN N.V. (Nasdaq: QGENF; Frankfurt/Neuer Market: QIA: Easdaq: QGEN) today announced that it has entered into a research and license agreement with The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) and the Montefiore Medical Center (MMC) regarding an association study of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in Mycobaterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis).

M. tuberculosis is the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB), which is responsible for more than three million deaths per year. According to the public health reports, more than eight million new cases of TB are diagnosed each year, and almost two billion people are latently infected with the bacterium.

QIAGEN Genomics and TIGR performed two studies on the use of QIAGEN Genomics' Masscode system to quickly and accurately genotype M. tuberculosis SNPs. In the initial pilot study, the Masscode system was used to analyze 12 of approximately eleven hundred previously identified M. tuberculosis SNPs, in a total of 24 reference-strain DNA samples furnished by TIGR (under the direction of Rob Fleischmann, Ph.D., TIGR's principale investigator for the project). The pilot study provided an average call rate, defined as the total number of genotype measurements that were obtained divided by the total number of measurements possible, of 99.5%.

The groups then performed, in collaboration with MMC, an analysis of the 12 SNPs plus an additional one hundred M. tuberculosis SNPs against 2 reference-strain DNA samples and 170 clinical isolates of M. tuberculosis. The clinical isolates were part of an extensive genotyping study being performed at MMC in New York. Results of the second study demonstrated the application of the Masscode system in genotyping loci of a highly infectious microbe of public health importance.

"We were very pleased by the accurate, rapid and robust results generated from use of the Masscode system in these studies," said Dr. Claire Fraser, President of TIGR. "We look forward to continuing to work with QIAGEN Genomics and using the Masscode technology to identify additional SNPs in Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other pathogens."

According to David Alland, M.D., who, as Attending in Infectious Disease at MMC and Associate Professor of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, served as MMC's principal investigator on the project, "The analysis of these SNPs and samples form the basis of future studies that are expected to provide major insights into the population structure and evolution of the M. tuberculosis species."

The groups believe that by performing such genotyping studies, a better understanding of disease processes may be obtained. Results of such analyses are expected to help guide vaccine and antibiotic development, as well as provide potential markers for diagnostic and prognostic kits. QIAGEN Genomics has been granted an exclusive license from TIGR to make and sell kits or other products based on certain M. tuberculosis SNP patents and know how owned by TIGR. In addition, QIAGEN Genomics has the right to use and to license others to use TIGR's M. tuberculosis SNP patents in providing genotyping services for others using the Masscode system.

The Masscode system is an elegant, cost effective and robust method of SNP genotyping. It couples a unique chemistry - the Masscode tags - with the most quantitative instrument available to date, the single quadrupole mass spectrometer.

Using the Masscode system in its dedicated genomics analysis services facility, QIAGEN Genomics has analyzed over one million genotypes on behalf of its clients worldwide. In addition to offering high throughput SNP genotyping services, the company also provides SNP discovery, DNA sequencing and DNA purification services, and is making the Masscode system available for in-licensed research applications. Masscode is a registered trademark of QIAGEN Genomics. Additional information on QIAGEN Genomics can be found at www.qiagengenomics.com.

About TIGR

The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) is a not-for-profit research institute founded in 1992 with interests in structural, functional and comparative analysis of genomes and gene products in viruses, eubacteria, pathogenic bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes (plant, animal and human). TIGR determined the DNA sequence of the first two bacterial genomes of free-living organisms (Haemophilus influenzae and Mycoplasma genitalium) in 1995 and the first archaeal genome (Methanococcus jannaschii) in 1996. TIGR recently completed the sequencing of its 21st microbial genome. TIGR also was the first institution to complete the first sequence of a chromosome from the malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, and from the model plant species, Arabidopsis thaliana. Additional information about TIGR is available at www.tigr.org.

About MMC

Montefiore Medical Center, the university hospital and academic medical center for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, is an internationally recognized leader in patient care, education, research and community services. Montefiore, located in the Bronx, NY provides treatment programs for patients with all major illnesses and has distinguished centers of excellence in heart care, cancer care, children's health, women's health and neuroscience. Montefiore's health system encompasses two large acute care hospitals, two new ambulatory specialty care centers, a large network of primary care offices and one of the nation's largest hospital-based home health agencies.

 

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 Genomics' and 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 management of growth and international operations (including the effects of currency fluctuations), variability of operating results, the commercial development of the DNA sequencing, genomics and synthetic nucleic acid-related markets, as well as the nucleic acid-based molecular diagnostics and genetic vaccination and gene therapy markets, competition, rapid or unexpected changes in technologies, fluctuations in demand for QIAGEN Genomics' and QIAGEN's products (including seasonal fluctuations), difficulties in successfully adapting QIAGEN Genomics' and QIAGEN's products to integrated solutions and producing such products, the ability of each of QIAGEN Genomics and QIAGEN to identify and develop new products and to differentiate its products from competitors, and the integration of acquisitions of technologies and businesses. For further information, refer to the discussion in reports that QIAGEN has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).