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Qiagen, Centogene Collaborate on Rare Disease Testing

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Qiagen has entered into a collaboration and comarketing agreement with Centogene, a German firm focusing on genetic diagnosis of rare disease, in an attempt to integrate sample-to-insight research with clinical testing for rare conditions.

The centerpiece of the agreement is the integration of Centogene's CentoMD database of 4.5 million clinically annotated phenotype and genotype variants of rare diseases into the Qiagen Clinical Insight bioinformatics platform and companion knowledge base.

Under the arrangement, Qiagen becomes the exclusive global commercial distributor of CentoMD, while Centogene is licensing Qiagen software to support its own diagnostic testing for rare diseases, the two companies said. Further, Centogene and Qiagen will collaborate on the development of advanced machine-learning technologies to improve the accuracy of clinical prediction.

They already work together as members of the Allele Frequency Community.

"Qiagen's knowledge-based products and relationships in the clinical diagnostics and pharma/biotech markets will help streamline our reporting and extend the market reach of Centogene's rare disease knowledge and services," Arndt Rolfs, CEO and founder of Rostock, Germany-based Centogene, said in a statement.

"With so many rare diseases, we see an underserved population of patients from the testing, diagnosis, counseling, and treatment perspectives," said Laura Furmanski, Qiagen senior vice president and head of its bioinformatics business. "By combining deep, expertly curated resources from Qiagen and Centogene, we will deliver powerful insights for researchers and clinicians and ultimately help patients and families deal with rare and hereditary disorders."

Last week, Qiagen said that its manufacturing and supply chain for consumables and other products for forensic and human identity testing has been certified by the Bureau Veritas inspection agency as meeting ISO18385:2016, the latest international standards for products used in forensic testing. In September, the company announced that it had inked a comarketing agreement with UK-based liquid biopsy firm Angle for circulating tumor cell technology.