Qiagen unveils plans for next-generation digital PCR systems

Qiagen N.V. has unveiled its plans to develop a range of next-generation systems for digital polymerase chain reaction (digital PCR or dPCR), one of the fastest-growing molecular testing applications in the life sciences industry. Qiagen expects to launch a fully integrated solution in 2020 that offers highly automated workflows combined with significantly quicker time-to-result, higher multiplexing and greater throughput flexibility than currently available digital PCR platforms. The new systems, which are in advanced stages of development, have been created through the combination of Qiagen technologies and automation with key digital PCR assets that are being acquired from Formulatrix, Inc., a privately-held U.S. developer of laboratory automation solutions. Qiagen has reached an agreement to acquire these assets from Formulatrix, and the transaction is expected to be completed by mid-2019 (pending U.S. and other regulatory approvals).

The new Qiagen systems in advanced stages of development offer greatly simplified workflows, bringing the ease of use of quantitative PCR to digital PCR and planned with several features and benefits such as fully integrated and rapid systems; scalable instruments with high multiplexing capabilities; and distinct plate configurations. Under terms of the agreement, QIAGEN agreed on December 31, 2018, to acquire all assets related to the digital PCR program of Formulatrix, Inc., for USD 125 million in cash (to be paid from existing cash reserves) and to make future milestone payments of up to approximately USD 135 million. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions and US clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, is expected to be completed by mid-2019. Due to investments ahead of the planned launch set for 2020, the transaction is expected to be dilutive to full-year 2019 adjusted EPS by about USD 0.03 per share and neutral in 2020.

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