Qiagen sees ‘significant’ bioinformatics market opportunities

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: iStock
Picture: iStock

Related tags: Dna

Qiagen has acquired OmicSoft Corporation to expand its bioinformatics offering for data management and interpretation.

The firm said it provides access to OmicSoft’s multi-omics data management infrastructure as well as ‘omics’ data sets that complement its bioinformatics portfolio.

OmicSoft’s customers include DuPont, Merck, Sanofi and Amgen.

The price of the deal, completed using cash reserves was not disclosed, but Qiagen said on a full-year basis in 2017, it expects half a percentage point of incremental sales growth and it to be neutral to adjusted earnings per share (EPS).  

Actionable insights

OmicSoft software enables scientists and researchers to analyze and visualize their own data sets and compare them to publicly available ‘omics’ data sets and share results with colleagues.

This is essential in addressing the growing need of researchers to manage, compare and share massive volumes of data on DNA, RNA and other biological variables generated with next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, said Qiagen.

OmicSoft will enhance Qiagen’s bioinformatics portfolio by adding features for the management, analysis and sharing of primary data and analyzed results.

It adds the ability to mine curated ‘omics’ data for unpublished findings.

Dr Laura Furmanski, SVP and head of the Bioinformatics business area at Qiagen, said the OmicSoft team will enable it to better support customers in managing vast data sets and gaining actionable insights.

“The market opportunity is significant given the expanding use of multiple ‘omics’ data in research and clinical healthcare. We intend to integrate the OmicSoft solutions into our full bioinformatics interpretation portfolio, and make it a key differentiator in our Sample to Insight offerings.”

Analysis and interpretation

OmicSoft can collect, curate and standardize public research data to enable customers to access findings through a single multi-omics platform.

The Array Studio software provides a graphical user interface to browse, analyze and visualize data from NGS sequencing, microarray and other technologies.

It was designed to work with gene expression products but has expanded into Next Generation Sequencing as well as other OMIC fields, including RT-PCR and Genotyping.

OmicSoft will operate as a Qiagen company from its headquarters in the Research Triangle region in North Carolina. Dr Jack Liu, co-founder and president, will lead future product development of the OmicSoft portfolio.

“The addition of OmicSoft to Qiagen’s portfolio of Sample to Insight solutions reinforces our position as the gold standard for analysis and interpretation of complex biological data across many different disciplines,​” said Peer M. Schatz, CEO of Qiagen.

Qiagen has sample technologies which isolate and process DNA, RNA and proteins; assay technologies that make the biomolecules visible and ready for analysis and bioinformatics software to interpret data to report insights.

As of September 30, 2016, it employed 4,700 people in over 35 locations.

Bio-Rad to acquire RainDance Technologies

Meanwhile, Bio-Rad Laboratories has purchased RainDance Technologies with the transaction expected to close during Q1 2017.

RainDance Technologies offers a proprietary droplet technology that enables research in areas such as for biological applications.

It markets products for digital PCR and sample enrichment for Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and has demonstrated feasibility of its technology for digital ELISA, linked read NGS, single cell analysis, compound screening for therapeutics and enzyme evolution.

Bio-Rad employs more than 8,000 people worldwide and had revenues exceeding $2.1bn in 2015.

Norman Schwartz, Bio-Rad president and CEO, said: "The company's droplet-based solutions will extend our reach into next-generation sequencing applications and strengthen our position in the area of droplet digital PCR.

“We look forward to expanding our offering to provide life science and clinical diagnostics customers with solutions for a wide range of nucleic acid detection applications."

Related topics: Food Safety & Quality

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