QIAGEN to Focus on Molecular Testing amidst Coronavirus Pandemic after Voluntary Public Takeover Offer by Thermo Fisher Falls Short
By Labmedica International staff writers
14 Aug 2020
QIAGEN N.V. (Venlo, Netherlands) plans to continue executing its growth strategy aimed at creating significant value for shareholders and other stakeholders after the voluntary public takeover offer by Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (Waltham, MA, USA) failed to achieve the minimum 66.67% acceptance threshold from QIAGEN shareholders.
A total of 47% of the outstanding QIAGEN shares were tendered into the offer of EUR 43.00 per share at the expiry of the Acceptance Period on August 10, 2020. The amended business combination agreement has been terminated due to the acceptance threshold not having been met. In line with its long-term growth strategy, QIAGEN intends to continue implementing initiatives to accelerate the growth of its Sample to Insight portfolio, delivering efficiency and effectiveness, increasing the value of QIAGEN as an employer of choice and enhancing customer experience.
QIAGEN’s initiatives focus on building the most comprehensive portfolio of solutions for COVID-19 testing. These include ramping up production of viral RNA extraction for use on QIAGEN’s QIAcube, QIAsymphony and EZ1 platforms as well as third-party instruments; building up a range of PCR tests on the QIAstat-Dx and NeuMoDx systems that enable COVID-19 detection while analyzing samples at the same time for other respiratory infections; and delivering universal next-generation sequencing (NGS) solutions for use with any sequencer, in particular gene panels integrated with bioinformatics for analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. QIAGEN is also scaling up production capacity for reagents sold to other companies for use in their own COVID-19 tests. New QIAGEN products in accelerated development include a serology test (assessing the body’s immune response to the coronavirus via antibodies) and a rapid antigen test (detection of an active coronavirus infection), planned for launch in the second half of 2020.
Additionally, QIAGEN plans to build on its market and technology leadership in sample technologies, a wide range of solutions to extract nucleic acids from biological samples. QIAGEN continues to roll out innovative sample technologies for liquid biopsies, sample and library preparation for NGS and metagenomics applications. Development initiatives include new products in response to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as innovations for customers in areas such as research, clinical healthcare and forensics that include new applications based on 96-well plates.
QIAGEN is also implementing a strategy to accelerate the adoption of QuantiFERON-TB in the fight against the tuberculosis (TB) pandemic disease. QIAGEN’s highly flexible laboratory automation solutions for QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus – anchored by partnerships with DiaSorin, Hamilton and Tecan – are supporting the conversion from tuberculin skin tests to modern blood-based technology. Additionally, QIAGEN is advancing plans for the launch of QuantiFERON-TB Access (QFT Access), a new version of the gold-standard TB detection test dedicated and tailored to the needs of low-resource settings with a high disease burden of TB.
Moreover, QIAGEN intends to move forward with the acquisition of the remaining 80.1% stake in NeuMoDx Molecular, Inc. that it currently does not own. QIAGEN expects NeuMoDx to provide significant sales contributions in the future based on its differentiation as a rapid, integrated PCR-based platform that offers a dedicated COVID-19 test as well as an expanding menu of tests for other infectious diseases, such as a new multiplex test combining analysis for influenza, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and the SARS-CoV-2 virus, expected to be launched in the second half of 2020.
“We respect the decision of our shareholders and will now continue to execute our strategy to deliver growth and create greater value with our Sample to Insight portfolio that addresses growing molecular testing needs in the life sciences and molecular diagnostics,” said Dr. Håkan, Björklund, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of QIAGEN N.V.
“The magnitude and duration of the global coronavirus pandemic have proven the increasingly critical importance of molecular testing to society. QIAGEN’s business prospects have improved significantly, as shown in our performance for the first half of 2020 and the strong outlook for the rest of this year and for 2021,” said Thierry Bernard, Chief Executive Officer of QIAGEN N.V. “In light of the outcome, we will also move forward with our plans to fully acquire NeuMoDx, Inc., which is growing fast thanks to its unique offering of molecular diagnostic testing platforms along with a solution for coronavirus testing and an expanding range of assays in Europe, the US and rest of the world. Our employees have demonstrated resilience and deep expertise in meeting the challenges of the pandemic, and will continue to play an essential role in building QIAGEN as a unique and differentiated leader in molecular testing through a commitment to execution on our goals.”
“QIAGEN is moving forward from a position of strength with robust growth prospects, anchored by a differentiated portfolio and multiple new product launches in the pipeline. As we focus on greater value creation, QIAGEN builds on a disciplined capital allocation policy anchored by a healthy balance sheet to support investments into our business along with a commitment to increasing returns to shareholders,” added Roland Sackers, Chief Financial Officer of QIAGEN N.V.
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.