Qiagen Attempts to Expand NGS Platform

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Recently, Qiagen N.V. (QGEN) attempted to expand its molecular assay portfolio used in next-generation sequencing (NGS). The effort is a part of its intention to provide an ecosystem of products and services, which increase the use of this NGS platform in clinical research and diagnostics. Accordingly, the company displayed its NGS products at the European Society of Human Genetics Conference in Paris from Jun 8–11.

In late 2012, Qiagen launched 9 GeneRead DNAseq panels, which will gradually be expanded to 20 validated gene panels. These panels are expected to offer new opportunities for targeted clinical sequencing in a growing range of indications in cancer and other diseases.

Qiagen offers 8 focused and curated NGS gene panels for different types of cancer, each covering approximately 20 different genes of interest. The company also offers a complete cancer panel, covering 124 different genes. According to Qiagen, the panels will focus on various cancers as well as new disease areas.

Moreover, Qiagen also demonstrated its cloud-based Variant Analysis software at the conference. The company had gained access to this software by acquiring Ingenuity Systems in early 2013. This system enables rapid translation of raw sequencing data into actionable results.

Viewing the substantial potential of the molecular diagnostic market globally, Qiagen is currently focusing on expanding its diagnostics products offering. The company currently derives around 50% of its total revenue from this segment, which is likely to increase with this acquisition. Qiagen has acquired several companies to expand its product portfolio, the significant ones are Ingenuity Systems, Inc. in 2013, Cellestis and Ipsogen in 2011.

As per Qiagen, faster and efficient data analysis by the Ingenuity products will enhance its prospective in the rapidly growing market of sequencing. We are encouraged by Qiagen’s focus on strategic initiatives to drive growth and profitability in the molecular diagnostics market. Its innovative tests in the genomic/esoteric arena, with a focus on the high-margin esoteric testing business, are expected to accelerate sales growth on the back of growing market demand, not only domestic but worldwide.

This is also provoking several small laboratory companies to introduce their comprehensive portfolio of genetic tests.

Major Peers in Molecular Diagnostics Space

Qiagen is facing intense competition in the molecular diagnostic space, especially from Laboratory Corp of America Holdings (LH). Currently, Qiagen retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, other stocks in the medical device sector like Haemonetics Inc. (HAE) and Natus Medical Inc. (BABY), carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), appear impressive.

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