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Qiagen Licenses Blood Disorders Biomarker from CeMM Vienna

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Qiagen announced after the close of the market on Thursday that it has exclusively licensed a biomarker that it plans to use in a molecular diagnostic test for a group of blood disorders called myeloproliferative neoplasms.

Qiagen licensed the biomarker called calreticulin (CALR) from CeMM Vienna, the Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and said that it will develop a molecular diagnostic test for CALR mutations that would enable a "clearer prognostic profile," and better management of myeloproliferative neoplasms.

According to Qiagen, mutations of CALR are found in about 15 percent of cases of the blood disorders.

The tests will be developed to run on the Rotor-Gene Q MDx platform, part of the QIAsymphony line of automated platforms. The agreement with CeMM also includes the potential use of the biomarker in next-generation sequencing applications.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Myeloproliferative neoplasms involve the overproduction of blood cells and can result in complications that include thrombosis and, in some cases, acute leukemia. Qiagen also has an exclusive license to the Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) V617F mutation, which is present in about 75 percent of patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms. A CALR diagnostic kit, Qiagen said, would be "highly complementary" to the company's kits for the JAK2 V617F mutation.

Qiagen gained access to the JAK2 biomarker though an agreement with Ipsogen, now part of Qiagen.

"Together, the JAK2 and CALR biomarkers give us the ability to deliver personalized insights regarding diagnosis, prognosis, and disease management for patients with myeloprofilerative disorders," Qiagen CEO Peer Schatz said in a statement.