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Qiagen, Exosome Diagnostics Partner to Develop Sample Prep Kits

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Qiagen and Exosome Diagnostics have inked a partnership to develop and commercialize co-branded kits to capture and process RNA and DNA from biofluid exosomes and other microvesicles, the companies said after the markets closed on Tuesday.

As part of the agreement, the companies will combine Exosome's proprietary exosome platform technology with select Qiagen consumables and automation platforms, the companies said.

The combined products will allow researchers, drug developers, and doctors to take repeated, real-time genetic "snapshots" of disease from patients' blood, urine, or cerebrospinal fluid without the need for tissue biopsy, they added.

The exosome workflows will be designed to run on "widely available" PCR, pyrosequencing, and next-generation sequencing technologies.

The companies are aiming to launch the first combined products in the first half of 2014. The first application will combine Exosome's technology with Qiagen's microRNA isolation technology, and will be designed to run on undisclosed automated instrument platforms from Qiagen.

The product portfolio is also expected to create the basis for development and commercialization of clinical in vitro diagnostic products for a range of non-invasive personalized healthcare products, the companies said.

As part of an active biological packaging and distribution mechanism for RNA and DNA, exosomes and their nucleic acid contents are being investigated for their implications and utility in a broad range of diseases including cancer, central nervous system disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, cardiovascular disease, maternal/fetal medicine, and chronic kidney disease.

The natural stability of the exosome compartment allows collection of clinical samples without special tubes or preservatives. As a result, researchers can perform analysis and biomarker discovery on high-quality RNA from fresh and frozen plasma, serum, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid samples. This is of particular interest for analysis of RNA-based biomarkers such as ALK or RET, the companies said.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.