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Qiagen, Eli Lilly Enter CDx Deal

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Qiagen said after the close of the market on Wednesday it has entered into an agreement with Eli Lilly to develop companion diagnostics for the drug firm's investigational and approved medicines across all therapeutic areas.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"Tailored therapies are a key component of Lilly’s strategy of providing improved outcomes for individual patients," Daniel Skovronsky, vice president of tailored therapeutics for Eli Lilly and CEO of Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lilly, said in a statement. "By working with partners like Qiagen, we are advancing a number of tailored therapeutics in an effort to target the right medicine to the right patient. This collaboration with Qiagen extends our capabilities to more quickly and cost-effectively bring innovative new medicines, alongside advanced diagnostics, to patients worldwide who are waiting."

The deal builds on a 2011 companion diagnostic collaboration between Qiagen and Eli Lilly targeting Lilly's JAK2 Inhibitor. That PCR-based test runs on Qiagen's Rotor-Gene system. Also, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the firm's therascreen KRAS RGQ PCR Kit in July as a companion diagnostic for Erbitux (cetuximab), sold in the US by Eli Lilly, its ImClone Systems unit, and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

"This agreement lays the groundwork for potential future projects with Lilly in various therapeutic areas and enables significant efficiencies for future development programs by standardizing interfaces and processes between our organizations," Ulrich Schriek, senior vice president of global business development for Qiagen, said. "Through partnerships like this, Qiagen offers pharma companies a cost-effective way to maximize the value and benefits of potential new medicines in their pipelines, while also reducing the risks in medicine development."

Last month Qiagen submitted the therascreen EGFR RGQ PCR Kit to the FDA as a companion diagnostic for Boehringer Ingelheim's non-small cell lung cancer drug called afatinib.