A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Qiagen (Venlo, the Netherlands) and Protedyne (Windsor, Connecticut) said they have expanded their strategic alliance to jointly market and cross-promote the use of Protedyne's BioCube System in conjunction with Qiagen's QIAamp nucleic acid purification products.

The result is an integrated, fully automated, ultra-high throughput sample preparation system for the molecular diagnostics and research markets, the companies said.

As part of the expanded agreement, Qiagen will invest about $2 million in Protedyne's current Series D financing round.

The expanded alliance addresses ultra-high throughput systems (larger than 600 samples per day) and is meant to complement Qiagen's position in automated solutions, extending from low-throughput platforms to high-throughput systems.

Qiagen has been granted exclusive access to Protedyne's high-throughput automation platform technologies for filter-based nucleic acid sample preparation.

The strategic alliance is the result of a collaboration initially announced last June, with the first commercial system expected to be available during 2Q05.

The two companies said they expect to expand their collaboration to add and validate further customer applications.

Protedyne's BioCube system is designed to address the needs of customers requiring ultra-high-throughput and fully integrated pre-analytical and analytical processing in molecular diagnostics and clinical research. The company said it has built a leading position in products for such applications.

CeMines (Golden, Colorado) reported a joint clinical research project with The Children's Hospital of Denver to target improvements in the diagnosis and monitoring of childhood leukemia.

The project is based on CeMines' Molecular FingerPrinting platform. The company will sponsor the research, which aims at analyzing messenger RNA anomalies from pediatric leukemia patients and comparing samples with those of healthy children.

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