Preparing for the next pandemic
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Infectious disease

Preparing for the next pandemic

As a leading developer of molecular technologies, our aim is to make reliable, efficient, and rapid testing solutions available to as many people as possible, around the globe. Whether it’s testing for COVID, TB, or other infectious diseases, not a single person should be left behind. For the past year, QIAGEN employees worldwide have been working non-stop to support the global response to the coronavirus pandemic.

At the same time, a cross-functional task force is developing products, processes, and infrastructure to bolster our long-term preparedness. The COVID pandemic has demonstrated that speed is critical in responding to a novel pathogen, and our strategies focus on just that -- getting more tests to those that need them quickly.

We are massively increasing the production capacity of test components, strengthening the supply of critical reagents and plastics, developing fast and accurate testing technologies, and implementing stringent safety measures to protect our employees. By committing substantial resources to these efforts, we make sure we are one step ahead of the next pandemic.

QIAGEN’s manufacturing site in Hilden, Germany, where products critical for COVID testing are made.
QIAGEN’s manufacturing site in Hilden, Germany, where products critical for COVID testing are made. QIAGEN's sites have ramped up production, to reach capacity supporting up to 20 million patient tests per month.

QIAGEN has played a key role in response to epidemic and pandemic threats, including H1N1, Ebola, and COVID-19. Through these public health crises, we have built strong and lasting ties with governments and public health bodies, enabling us to mount a quick and coordinated response. 

We are working in lockstep with international partners, such as the WHO, CDC, FDA, BARDA, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Charité in Berlin. Through these collaborations, we are able to develop protocols and tests for novel pathogens and get emergency approvals, such as EUAs and CE-IVD registrations, and widen access to critical testing technologies.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, our corporate, regional and medical teams have worked directly with numerous governments on national and regional levels to ensure that tests are made broadly available around the globe -- leaving no country or region behind. We are currently supporting testing in more than 100 countries. We are also working directly with customers to assess their flexibility, timing, and quantity needs, so products are not supplied on a "first-come, first-served" basis, but are distributed in the most equitable way possible.

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Rockefeller Foundation collaboration
We’re working to transform global pandemic capacity with our Sample to Insight technologies
In a pandemic, speedy testing for the pathogen can be critical to controlling the spread of the disease. To support the COVID response, we developed solutions for SARS-CoV-2 testing and research in record time.
QIAstat-Dx

QIAstat-Dx is a syndromic testing technology that can detect and differentiate 20+ targets. The QIAstat-Dx cartridge is designed to quickly add novel targets to panels. QIAstat-Dx was the first rapid multiplex PCR assay to include SARS-CoV-21.

QIAstat-Dx
QIAprep&
QIAprep&amp

QIAprep&amp was developed to simplify and accelerate PCR analysis of SARS-CoV-2 and other RNA viruses for epidemiological research. This ultrafast method combines liquid-based sample preparation with real-time PCR detection, for results in < 1 h (compared to approx. 3 h for standard qPCR workflows).

QIAseq DIRECT SARS-CoV-2 Kit

This high-throughput NGS kit offers a rapid solution for genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2. Compared with current ARTIC-based approaches, this cuts viral amplification and library prep time in half and enables twice the throughput per flow cell lane. This readily automated workflow significantly reduces hands-on time and plasticware use.

QIAseq DIRECT SARS-CoV-2 Kit
In a pandemic, testing solutions range from screening*, diagnostic, and antibody testing to a suite of tools for epidemiology, genomic surveillance, and viral evolution research. We have developed one of the broadest technology portfolios in the industry for different pandemic testing needs.

In 2020, we launched the largest investment program in QIAGEN’s history to ramp up production at our sites at Hilden in Germany, Barcelona in Spain, and Germantown, Maryland. This includes expanding and adapting buildings, sourcing materials and production equipment, building additional production lines, and establishing quality controls and processes. We have also strengthened our supply chain by signing long-term agreements with a broad network of partners to double or in some cases triple, the availability of critical reagents, instruments, and plastics. 

This investment is not just important for our COVID response, but also for our long-term strategy preparing for future pandemics.

The expanded QIAstat-Dx production facility in Barcelona now includes more space for R&D, production and QC, and a planned third production line
The expanded QIAstat-Dx production facility in Barcelona now includes more space for R&D, production and QC, and a planned third production line. This will boost production of tests for SARS-CoV-2, as well as other tests to diagnose and differentiate respiratory and gastrointestinal pathogens*.
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QIAGEN achieved a 50-fold increase in production capacity of reagents for COVID tests in 2020.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the safety of our employees has been our priority. QIAGEN has set up a dedicated task force from all departments and locations to implement rigid safety measures including large-scale capacity for in-house PCR testing for on-site staff and visitors to protect our workforce and ensure business continuity. We have also implemented engineering and administrative controls and safe work practices.

Even as we continue to fight COVID, we must be prepared for what comes next. Epidemics and pandemics, like many public health challenges, are unpredictable but always possible. Our strategy is to prepare now for the long term – through partnerships, investments in critical infrastructure and supply chains, and innovation across a range of testing technologies. This will ensure that we are strongly equipped to support the global response to any future public health crisis.

References

  1. Visseaux, B. et al. (2020) Evaluation of the QIAstat-Dx Respiratory SARS-CoV-2 Panel, the First Rapid Multiplex PCR Commercial Assay for SARS-CoV-2 Detection. J Clin Microbiol 58(8):e00630-20.
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Looking for COVID-19 solutions?
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*Product availability may vary by country specific regulatory requirements and approvals. Contact your country representative or visit www.qiagen.com for further details.
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