NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Qiagen today said it has licensed exclusive worldwide rights to Epigenomics' sample-handling technologies for applied testing and in vitro diagnostics as part of an expansion of an earlier alliance.
The companies inked an OEM agreement two years ago that gave Qiagen exclusive rights to Epigenomics' bisulfite DNA treatment technology and Methylight assay technology for research uses.
Under the new agreement, Qiagen will pay Epigenomics an up-front fee, milestone payments, and royalties, Qiagen said. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Epigenomics will retain the rights to its sample technologies in its own or partnered development projects and for commercializing diagnostics through a non-exclusive back-license from Qiagen.
Qiagen said the expansion follows the launch of the EpiTect Bisulfite kit, which uses Epigenomics' DNA-methylation technology and is for research use only. Based on the results of that program, Qiagen said the companies now plan to use DNA methylation to develop and sell a complete and validated IVD pre-analytical sample technology portfolio.
Qiagen CEO Peer Schatz said the companies expect DNA methylation technology to play an important role in the molecular diagnostics market, particularly in areas such as cancer screening.
Schatz said Qiagen's epigentic testing portfolio now includes "sample technologies such as DNA sample collection, stabilization, purification, and bisulfite conversion to assay technologies such as PCR- and sequencing-based methods for DNA methylation analysis."