FORMULATRIX has announced that their digital PCR assets, including the CONSTELLATION® series of instruments, is being acquired by QIAGEN N.V. (NYSE: QGEN, Frankfurt Stock Exchange: QIA) for up to $260 million ($125 million upfront payment and $135 million of milestones). QIAGEN has announced plans for a global launch in 2020 of a new series of digital PCR platforms that utilize the advanced dPCR technology developed by FORMULATRIX combined with QIAGEN’s expertise in assay development and automation.
Digital PCR is one of the fastest growing molecular testing techniques in the life science industry with a wide range of applications. It has proven specificity and precision advantages over quantitative PCR (qPCR). The increased specificity allows for the detection of rare mutations that were not possible to detect with existing qPCR methods. QIAGEN intends to develop this technology for future applications in clinical healthcare beyond the initial focus on life science applications..
FORMULATRIX has developed a novel plate-based dPCR technology that has many advantages over existing dPCR technologies. The fully automated workflow has a fast time-to-answer and low hands-on time. The sample throughput is much higher than existing instruments, with up to 200 samples per hour. The available 6-channel detection also allows for high multiplexing.
“The dPCR technology that we’ve developed is unlike anything on the market today, and we are excited that QIAGEN will be bringing the technology to researchers around the world. We believe the combination of QIAGEN’s strong expertise in PCR and broad global presence will advance digital PCR to a new level,” said Jeremy Stevenson, president and CEO of FORMULATRIX.
“The addition of a digital PCR platform, which builds on the highly differentiated assets we are acquiring from FORMULATRIX, is a logical evolution for our PCR portfolio and presents a very exciting opportunity for QIAGEN,” said Peer M. Schatz, Chief Executive Officer of QIAGEN N.V. “As the use of digital PCR continues to emerge and gains utility across a wide range of applications in Life Sciences, we plan for expansion into applications for Molecular Diagnostics. We expect to launch the first of these new digital PCR solutions in 2020 and create seamless integration with our workflows, assay menus and service offerings to help customers unlock valuable molecular insights.”