Qiagen and Astellas Pharma to Develop Companion Diagnostics

03.11.2014 -

Dutch genetic testing specialist Qiagen has signed a master collaboration agreement with Astellas Pharma, a Japanese R&D-driven global pharmaceutical company, to develop and commercialize companion diagnostics paired with Astellas drugs for use in cancer and other diseases.

The deal, for which financial terms were not disclosed, will give Astellas access to Qiagen's development capabilities for assays based on PCR, NGS and multi-modal testing technologies using liquid and tissue biopsies.

Two initial projects focusing on oncology aim to pair Qiagen diagnostics with Astellas compounds in early-stage clinical trials. These include ASP5878, fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) inhibitor and ASP8273, an EGFR inhibitor.

"With the master agreement and the first two projects to be disclosed, Qiagen is further expanding its leadership in personalized medicine, including in Japan, one of the world's largest markets for companion diagnostics," said CEO Peer M. Schatz.

The Astellas collaboration is Qiagen's eighth framework agreement for developing companion diagnostics. The company currently has more than 20 collaborative projects with pharma and biotech companies to develop, validate and market companion diagnostics to guide the treatment of cancers and a variety of other diseases.