QIAGEN N.V. (NYSE: QGEN; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) today announced a series of new products to further enhance cancer research as well as to enable urine collection and stabilization as a new approach for liquid biopsy.

These three new products, along with the IVD version of QIAGEN’s digital PCR platform QIAcuity set for launch in mid-2024, are to be featured at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in San Diego, California, from April 5-10. Two Exhibitor Spotlight Theater sessions and several poster presentations will highlight additional advances from QIAGEN in this field.

“We are excited to share our latest innovation in digital PCR, NGS, and non-invasive sample collection and DNA stabilization with the research community that will help them gain valuable insights into cancer. Our new QIAcuity PanCancer kits will enhance the understanding of EGFR- and BRAF-driven cancers while our QIAcuity IVD system, ready for launch this summer, will translate cancer research into  clinical applications and precision diagnostics,” said Nitin Sood, Senior Vice President and Head of QIAGEN’s Life Sciences Business Area. “And with our new solutions for urine liquid biopsy and targeted RNA-sequencing, researchers receive new efficient tools that potentially enable them to better detect minimal residual disease, monitor treatment response, and identify new therapeutic targets.

The new products involve the following: 

  • The newly launched QIAcuity dPCR PanCancer Kits will allow researchers using QIAGEN’s QIAcuity dPCR system to detect multiple EGFR and BRAF hallmark mutations at the same time and with high sensitivity. EGFR and BRAF are genes essential for normal cell growth and function, but mutations in these genes can result in cancer development. The assays clearly discriminate between wild-type and mutant sequences, enhancing specificity and reducing false positives. Researchers can use the kits for pre-screening samples before, for example, analyzing them with NGS, or monitoring cancer cells. Simultaneously assessing the mutations, they reduce time and cost and save on sample material. The technology has the potential to be adapted to identify other genes associated with cancer risks.

    “I am testing the novel PanCancer Assays on the QIAcuity instrument using FFPE tissue samples and liquid biopsies to concurrently detect multiple hallmark mutations in BRAF and EGFR – and initial findings have convinced me that this product has the potential to accelerate prognostic and predictive biomarker analysis, early mutation detection and screenings,” said Vijayalakshmi Ramshankar, Professor and Head of the Department of Preventive Oncology Research, Cancer Institute (WIA), Chennai, India.

  • To advance research on how the immune system interacts with cancer, QIAGEN has introduced the QIAseq Targeted RNA-seq Panel for T-cell receptors. T-cell receptors play a crucial role in the adaptive immune system, which is responsible for recognizing and eliminating abnormal cells, such as cancer cells. The panel uses unique molecular indices (UMI) with QIAseq Enrichment Technology to facilitate ultrasensitive and accurate characterization of the immune repertoire in human and mouse from low input and FFPE samples. It enables targeted NGS detection of the human or mouse expressed T cell receptors (TCR): TCR-alpha, TCR-beta, TCR-gamma and TCR-delta. This library prep kit will accelerate research into several areas with high accuracy and sensitivity, among them how the T-cell receptor repertoire in cancer can be used as a biomarker and how the repertoire of tumor-infiltrating T-cells can improve the understanding of tumor behavior. 
  • The PAXgene Urine Liquid Biopsy Set currently being developed by PreAnalytiX, a QIAGEN and BD joint venture, will launch later this year. It will provide an easy-to-use, non-invasive sampling approach to liquid biopsy and address current preanalytical workflow gaps for cell-free DNA in urine (ucfDNA). By introducing preservatives into urine samples, it will prevent the rapid, post-collection degradation of ucfDNA and minimize the release of potentially misleading genomic DNA, both of which can make ucfDNA analysis unreliable or even impossible. Urine liquid biopsy research holds significant potential for applications such as detecting minimal residual disease, monitoring treatment response and identifying therapeutic targets, complementing the results of blood plasma analysis and offering a more comprehensive understanding of the tumor.

    Professor Ellen Heitzer of the Diagnostic and Research Institute of Human Genetics at the Medical University of Graz in Austria will present the results of her study with the PAXgene technology in an Exhibitor Spotlight Theater session: “Cell-free DNA isolated from urine offers a truly non-invasive sampling method for liquid biopsy, but ucfDNA requires careful sample handling. The urine collection and stabilization solution enables optimized standardized workflows. This makes several downstream analyses feasible with ucfDNA and can provide important complementary information.”

QIAGEN will also highlight at the AACR meeting the upcoming launch of the QIAcuity system for IVD testing – the expansion of its digital PCR technology from research to the clinical setting. The QIAcuityDx system offers a custom assay development environment alongside IVD functionality, providing labs with a simplified yet regulatory-compliant route to run IVD assays or lab-developed tests (LDTs) and generate results within the same working day.

Learn more about QIAGEN’s offering at the AACR Annual Meeting 2024, (booth #922 in the San Diego Convention Center) and poster presentations highlighting new solutions in digital PCR, NGS and preanalytical workflows at https://www.qiagen.com/applications/cancer-research/aacr-2024-annual-meeting.