Product News: QIAGEN Enhance the GeneReader NGS System to Improve Efficiency and Cost-Effectiveness

10 Jan 2017

QIAGEN has announced a comprehensive range of enhancements for the GeneReader NGS System  in particular the launch of new gene panels that will create a full menu for oncology applications that are designed to significantly improve the utility, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the worlds first Sample to Insight next-generation sequencing (NGS) solution.

QIAGEN also announced that it achieved the target set for 55-60 GeneReader NGS Systems placements with customers worldwide at the end of 2016 following the start of commercialization in late 2015. This represents more than a 10% share of the estimated global annual market for new placements of benchtop sequencer used for oncology applications.

We are very pleased with the response of customers to the GeneReader NGS System, which has confirmed our strategic decision to provide a simpler, more cost-effective way for any laboratory worldwide to take advantage of NGS technology and improve outcomes, said Peer M. Schatz, Chief Executive Officer of QIAGEN N.V. This comprehensive range of enhancements will further differentiate the GeneReader NGS System and help customers explore the expanding content menu and ability to gain valuable molecular insights. We look forward to further expanding and enhancing the utility, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of this truly differentiated Sample to Insight solution and our NGS portfolio.

Among the enhancements:

  • New GeneRead QIAact gene panels: QIAGEN plans to commercialize at least five new gene panels during the year, many of which are compatible with both FFPE tissue samples and non-invasive liquid biopsies. This expansion plan builds on the success of the GeneRead QIAact Actionable Insights Tumor Panel, which was launched as the first expert-designed gene panel for use on the GeneReader NGS System and targets 12 clinically actionable genes in the five most prevalent solid tumors. The expansion plans include two new gene panels for deep analysis of lung cancer samples, while commercialization of a gene panel for analysis of breast and ovarian cancers is set to begin soon in Europe and later this year in the U.S. An onco-hematology panel is also being prepared for launch during 2017, while additional gene panels are in development for seamless integration with the GeneReader NGS System.
  • Customized panels and related workflows: In a move that will significantly broaden the use for oncology applications, QIAGEN intends to soon begin offering services to customers for the development of customized gene panels for use on the GeneReader NGS System, this new service will also include optimization of the GeneReader NGS System to the specific needs of the customized gene panels. This new offering builds on the selection, design and digitalized commercial portal offered through QIAGENs GeneGlobe PCR-based assay panels, which span more than 60,000 targets across most disease areas. To date, QIAGEN has commercialized more than 40 million pre-designed molecular assays through GeneGlobe. As with the new GeneRead QIAact gene panels, the selection of genes for inclusion in panels is powered by QIAGENs Ingenuity Knowledge Base, the worlds leading resource for interpretation and selection of molecular content that contains more than 13 million genetic findings and has so far been used to analyze more than 350,000 molecular samples.
  • Broader range of mutation analysis: QIAGENs gene panels have been upgraded to incorporate QIAGENs recently unveiled proprietary Digital NGS technology that enables more accurate quantification and detection of variants in samples. As a result, the GeneReader NGS System will be expanded to analyze a broader range of genetic variant types. These include large rearrangements (in particular exon-skipping events), gene fusions and copy number variations (CNVs), in addition to the current capabilities for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), gene expression and genomic insertions or deletions (InDels).
  • Increased sample processing capacity: Among the key features of the GeneReader NGS System are the ability to process scalable batch sizes as well as the random access and continuous loading of multiple flow cells, which enable labs to adapt and scale the System to match their needs. As a result of system performance improvements, GeneReader NGS Systems customers will have the benefits of a 20% increase in sample capacity per run, which has risen to up to 48 samples per run from the current capacity of up to 40 samples per run. With a total processing capacity up to about 5,000 samples a year (two runs per week), this enhanced throughput allows the GeneReader NGS System to address the processing needs of even the highest-throughput laboratories while remaining economically attractive to even lower-throughput laboratories.
  • New proprietary sequencing chemistry: QIAGENs new proprietary sequencing chemistry was announced in November 2016 at the Association for Molecular Pathology meeting, where QIAGEN released performance data showing 100% concordance with results of QIAGENs FDA-approved therascreen KRAS RGQ PCR assay, the CE-labelled therascreen RAS Extension Pyro Assay as well as with an alternative NGS sequencer from another vendor. In that study, 42 metastatic colorectal cancer FFPE samples were tested with previously confirmed RAS mutational status. The rollout of the new chemistry to customers in the United States is expected to begin during the first quarter of 2017, and to other areas of the world during the year.

This comprehensive enhancement package is planned to be rolled out in 2017 and builds on a wave of recent improvements that have included the ability to process non-invasive liquid biopsies; complete sample processing and library preparation steps with either the QIAcube or QIAsymphony SP automation platforms; and integration with laboratory information management systems (LIMS).

QIAGEN intends to develop further enhancements and improve the performance of the GeneReader NGS System which is the only fully integrated NGS workflow that take users from automated sample and library preparation through to accurate identification and quantification of genetic variations using powerful bioinformatics for data analysis and interpretation to create further value for labs and broaden use beyond the current focus on oncology applications.