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Protagen, Qiagen Collaborate to Advance Development of Protein-based CDx for Autoimmune Diseases

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Diagnostics firm Protagen announced a long-term collaboration agreement with Qiagen to provide pharmaceutical partners access to technology that would advance the development of protein-based companion tests for autoimmune disorders.

The terms of the agreement give Qiagen access to Protagen's proprietary SeroTag, an automated multiplex technology that can facilitate the discovery and validation of protein-based biomarker panels. SeroTag can measure autoantibody levels for thousands of antigens from a patient's single serum sample.

According to Qiagen, the technology can support Phase I to Phase IV drug development programs for autoimmune illnesses, as well as enable the development of companion tests for better disease diagnosis, patient stratification in clinical trials, and improved treatment strategies.

"The synergistic combination of the unique expertise of Qiagen and Protagen in the development and commercialization of companion diagnostics will offer a complete solution for pharmaceutical and biotech companies targeting the development of new therapeutic compounds, diagnostic, or companion diagnostic tests in the area of autoimmune disorders," the companies said in a statement.

Protagen and Qiagen did not disclose the financial details of their deal.

"Following cancer, autoimmune disorders are currently the second largest therapeutic area for companion diagnostics in drug development with a significant unmet medical need," Rainer Metzger, Qiagen's VP of business development pharma, noted in a statement.