QIAGEN N.V. QGEN announced that it partnered with Tecan Group AG. to enhance the processing of QIAGEN’s QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus (QFT-Plus) diagnostic test. Notably, Tecan has a strong grip on laboratory automation and liquid handling technology. QIAGEN will be utilizing Tecan’s Fluent Laboratory Automation workstation for the aliquoting of samples for the optional Lithium Heparin single-tube workflow. These Fluent instruments are slated to be delivered directly to laboratories through Tecan’s Life Sciences Business.
Per QIAGEN, this partnership will aid in improvising the automation of the pre-analytic manual steps, leading to its QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus test.
Notably, this is QIAGEN’s second endeavor within a year to provide front-end automation solutions. In this regard, it partnered with DiaSorin in January 2018 to use a readout kit for QFT-Plus on the DiaSorin LIAISON family of fully automated analyzers.
QIAGEN has been witnessing substantial demand for the QuantiFERON-TB diagnostic test kit. Per the company, it witnessed successful uptake of the QFT-Plus in more than 75 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America, with around two million of new tests being already used there.
Per Research and Markets data published on Business Wire, the global TB diagnostics market is expected to witness a CAGR of 4.5% between 2017 and 2025. Considering the bullish market sentiments, we believe that the latest development arrived at an opportune moment.
QIAGEN’s Progress With QFT So far
The QuantiFERON-TB diagnostic test kit falls under QIAGEN’s Molecular Diagnostics segment, which was the highest revenue grosser in the last reported quarter. Notably, the segment contributed 48% to total revenues on continued double-digit constant currency sales gains for the QuantiFERON latent TB test, surpassing the company’s target regarding QuantiFERON growth.
QIAGEN is optimistic about its key collaborations with Hamilton and DiaSorin. The company launched a CE-marked DiaSorin automation solution in Europe to use the LIAISON system for the test read-out. The launch of the same in the United States is on track for 2019. This apart, QIAGEN is scheduling DiaSorin automation solution launch in China in 2020. These developments are expected to provide an impetus to the company in achieving the target of more than $300 million of QuantiFERON sales in 2020.
Share Price Performance
QIAGEN has been gaining investor confidence on consistently encouraging results. Over the past six months, the company’s share price has outperformed its industry. The stock gained 3.3% against the industry’s 15.1% decline.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
QIAGEN currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
A few better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are Veeva Systems Inc. VEEV, Hologic, Inc. HOLX and Integer Holdings Corporation ITGR.
Veeva Systems’ long-term earnings growth rate is projected at 14.8%. The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Integer Holdings projects earnings growth rate of 31.2% for the first quarter. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.
Hologic’s long-term earnings growth rate is projected at 8.9%. The stock presently carries a Zacks Rank #2.
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