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WaferGen, Qiagen Ink Co-Marketing Agreement in Japan

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — WaferGen Biosystems and Qiagen KK, the Japanese subsidiary of Qiagen, said today that they have inked a co-marketing agreement for genomics products.

Under the agreement, Qiagen and WaferGen will promote each other's products in Japan. In particular, the companies will co-market WaferGen's SmartChip Real-Time PCR system and Qiagen's PCR arrays and next-generation sequencing platform, the latter of which is currently in an "advanced stage of development," the companies said.

The purpose of the relationship is to help life science researchers more quickly develop and validate biomarkers that are potential candidates for molecular diagnostics by using WaferGen's SmartChip system, the companies said.

Last June, Qiagen acquired next-generation sequencing firm Intelligent Bio-Systems, noting at the time that it planned to develop the company's sequencing technology for the molecular diagnostics and clinical research markets.

Qiagen said today that the forthcoming sequencing platform is one element of an initiative to create "integrated NGS workflows that combine innovative instrumentation and consumables into a sample-to-result offering" planned for launch later this year.

WaferGen's SmartChip platform is designed to profile and validate thousands of molecular biomarkers in parallel and performs high-throughput microRNA and mRNA gene expression profiling and SNP genotyping.

"There is a substantial customer need to ramp up discovery efforts through targeted screening and confirmation, and our integrated approach will provide one-stop shopping for a variety of academic and industrial clients," Stephane Perrey, president of QIAGEN KK, said in a statement.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.