Australian digital diagnostics firm partners with QIAGEN on TB testing solution

22 Jan 2019

Australian digital diagnostics firm Ellume has partnered with German-Dutch company QIAGEN to develop a new tuberculosis (TB) testing solution for developing nations with a high disease burden of TB.

The new testing solution, QuantiFERON®-TB Access (QFT Access), combines Ellume’s ultrasensitive digital detection technology with QIAGEN’s existing latent-TB testing product, QuantiFERON-TB, which first gained FDA approval in 2001.

As well as developing the new TB testing solution, QIAGEN is acquiring a US$15 million minority stake in Ellume and the use of its intellectual property for the detection of latent TB. This new platform has the potential to expand the product menu beyond latent TB to include other illnesses, particularly those co-incident with TB, such as HIV.

QIAGEN intends to work with the World Health Organization (WHO), various non-governmental organisations and governments to support their TB control efforts, and in particular, achieve goals set by the WHO’s End TB Strategy.

‘We’re pleased to be partnering with a global leader such as QIAGEN to create a high-impact product such as QFT Access,’ says Dr Sean Parsons, Founder and Managing Director, Ellume.

‘At Ellume, we pride ourselves on developing integrated solutions and we’re confident of creating with QIAGEN a world-class product in QFT Access to address this major unmet need.’

The QIAGEN alliance builds on the recent announcement of a global partnership with GlaxoSmithKline announced in December 2018.

‘To have this second partnership with a company such as QIAGEN is a real validation of the technology we’ve created over the last five years,’ says Dr Parsons.

‘It shows us to be the partner of choice for global leaders in the industry due to the quality and value of the science we have created. This is particularly important as our ellume.lab products enter US clinical studies in preparation for planned commercial launch in 2020.’

Ellume is an Australian digital diagnostics company that develops, manufactures and commercialises accurate, connected products for health professionals and consumers. It focuses on the detection of common illnesses that affect the global population. Ellume has developed detection technology powered by a quantum dot nanoparticle, which integrates optics, electronics, biologics and software into an intuitive and high-performance digital platform.

QIAGEN was established in 1984 by a team of scientists at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany. Its holding company is now based in the Netherlands. QIAGEN specialises in isolating and processing DNA, RNA and protein from blood, tissue and other material samples for analysis. Its bioinformatics software and knowledge bases interpret data to report relevant, actionable insights, while its automation solutions tie these together in workflows. As at 30 September 2018, QIAGEN employed approximately 4,900 people in over 35 locations worldwide.