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Qiagen Teams with Max Planck on TB MDx Test

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Qiagen today said that it will collaborate with the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology's department of immunology to develop a molecular diagnostic test for tuberculosis.

Specifically, the partners will develop a test aimed at assessing the risk of an individual with latent TB developing active TB disease during his lifetime.

The assay, based on research conducted at MPIIB, is expected to be PCR-based and target multiple biomarkers, said Qiagen. It will run on Qiagen's QIAsymphony platform and serve as a reflex test following Qiagen's QuantiFeron-TB Gold test for detection of latent TB. Qiagen expects to commercialize the test next year.

Qiagen will be responsible for assay design and manufacturing, while MPIIB will provide access to its marker sets and develop new biosignatures.

Financial terms of the alliance were not disclosed.

"We believe that the combination of ‘pre-molecular’ and DNA-/RNA-based molecular testing technologies is the next-generation solution for screening and identifying infected individuals before they develop active TB disease," James Rothel, VP and head of scientific affairs at Qiagen, said in a statement. "This initiative has the potential to reduce the spread of infectious diseases significantly and also to generate cost savings by treating individuals before development of active TB."

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