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QIAGEN Joins Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative to Bring Advanced Point-of-Care Diagnostics to World's Poorest Countries

QIAGEN N.V. announced it has joined the Point-of-Care Diagnostics (POC Dx) Initiative led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Grand Challenges Canada to create a new molecular diagnostics platform to serve resource-poor regions of the world.

QIAGEN has already started the development of a portable instrument based on its advanced molecular testing technologies for Point of Need applications. The development of affordable and portable diagnostic systems is one of the 16 "Grand Challenges in Global Health," an initiative that seeks to enhance healthcare in the world's poorest countries.

QIAGEN is joining more than 20 nonprofit, academic and corporate organizations in the POC Dx Initiative, which aims to catalyze a "diagnostics revolution" for the developing world. The goal of this initiative is to create new platforms that enable high-quality, low-cost point-of-care diagnosis and thereby make systematic and sustainable improvements in healthcare in the developing world.

QIAGEN's role is to develop an easy-to-use, portable molecular testing device that can perform diagnostic tests in the field, far from hospital or laboratory infrastructure. This task also encompasses the creation of a corresponding assay technology suited for use in low-resource settings. This project is part of the technology development phase of the POC Dx initiative, which will then integrate successful technologies into a multifunctional point-of-care platform. The POC Dx Initiative targets a broad array of related projects, such as putting together standards for diagnostics best suited to remote and impoverished settings, creating components such as low-cost devices to collect blood samples, or planning for the future integration of diagnostics into delivery of care in these areas.

"We are pleased to further expand our collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help bring the power of advanced molecular diagnostics to battle infectious and other diseases in developing regions. The new low-cost portable testing devices currently under development are intended to enable reliable, quick diagnosis and timelier treatment of patients. We believe that modern diagnostic technologies can have a very significant positive impact on developing countries, helping to save lives, reduce economic impacts, and curtail the spread of infectious diseases," said Dr. Ellen Sheets, Chief Medical Officer of QIAGEN. "QIAGEN has already placed thousands of Point of Need testing devices which are being used in a variety of applications in Molecular Diagnostics and Applied Testing. This experience will be instrumental in developing a new platform designed especially for the healthcare needs of developing countries and low-resource regions."

"The Point-of-Care Diagnostics Initiative seeks to transform the way we diagnose and treat patients in the world's poorest countries," said Gene Walther, Deputy Director Diagnostics at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "We hope that these groundbreaking ideas lead to new tools that can quickly diagnose disease and accelerate access to lifesaving health interventions for those in greatest need."

Through its own QIAGEN cares program, QIAGEN is working on multiple fronts to improve access to screening for infectious diseases in emerging countries. QIAGEN has previously collaborated with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and PATH, an international nonprofit organization, in developing the careHPV Test, a state-of-the-art diagnostic specifically designed for low-resource settings to screen women for human papillomavirus (HPV), the primary cause of cervical cancer. The careHPV Test can be performed without access to a laboratory infrastructure and offers results in a few hours, a critical feature for women who travel to clinics from isolated villages and need to be treated the same day.

QIAGEN collaborates with a number of public health and nonprofit agencies to make its HPV screening technologies available in resource-poor areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America. In Applied Testing, the company is collaborating with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in a pilot project designed to contain devastating animal diseases in developing countries using portable testing devices provided by QIAGEN.

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