Strategic Alliances, Partnerships & Collaborations Analysis – October 2019

Although briskness in alliances partially offset sluggishness in M&A, October was far less dynamic than September for strategic deal making within the diagnostics sector. Here’s an overview of the key deals that did come down over the 4-week period beginning in late September 2019.

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Hence, molecular diagnostic giant Qiagen’s announcement that it was throwing in the towel on developing next-generation sequencing (NGS) kits on its own and partnering with rival Illumina to do it on the basis of the latter’s hardware. The biggest strategic partnership blockbuster of October, and arguably of all of 2019, came on literally the same day after Qiagen announced that it was losing its longstanding CEO Peer Schatz and less than 24 hours after the Netherlands-based firm revealed that Q3 earnings would be coming in at the 3% rather than the expected 4% to 5% range as a result of weak sales in China. The Illumina partnership is a 15-year non-exclusive covering both NGS and companion diagnostics. Key terms:

  • Qiagen secures the rights to develop and commercialize IVD kits for use with Illumina’s MiSeq Dx and NextSeq 550Dx systems;
  • Qiagen will pay Illumina a platform access fee and milestone payments;
  • Qiagen also gets rights to expand onto other future Illumina clinical sequencing systems;
  • The partners will also look at opportunities for Qiagen to develop and market companion diagnostics based on Illumina’s TruSight Oncology assays;
  • The partnership will initially focus on oncology but may expand to include cardiology, hereditary diseases, infectious diseases and autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

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