German group to expand biomarker research in Manchester

Posted on 12 Jul 2018 by Jonny Williamson

Qiagen, a German diagnostics company, has confirmed it is expanding its research and development activities in the UK, creating or supporting up to 1,500 jobs.

Qiagen has confirmed it is expanding its research and development activities in the UK, creating or supporting up to 1,500 jobs.

QIAGEN announced a partnership with multiple organisations to support creating a global genomics campus in Manchester, UK, for innovation, life sciences, translational science and molecular diagnostics.

The diagnostics company is working with Health Innovation Manchester, the partnership which brings together the region’s entire spectrum of public, academic and clinical resources.

The project aims to develop a genomics campus in the heart of Manchester’s health innovation district, anchored by QIAGEN’s European Centre of Excellence for Precision Medicine and hub for diagnostics development.

The new Genomic Health Innovation Campus aims to attract a cluster of synergistic companies to Manchester, in collaboration with academic and clinical organisations, to drive pioneering research and development – as well as to secure employment growth in the life science and healthcare fields.

Financial contributions will come from public entities in the UK, advancing national and regional strategies to transform the economy with R&D and technology-driven enterprises.

The genomics campus will be built on the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust’s clinical site in the Corridor Manchester innovation district, adjacent to hospitals, the University of Manchester, and other research and commercial assets.

In 2016 it invested an estimated €35,000m in R&D in Europe. It directly employs some 745,000 people and generates three to four times more employment indirectly – upstream and downstream – than it does directly.

Peer M. Schatz, chief executive officer of QIAGEN, said: “These partnerships leverage QIAGEN’s rich expertise in Manchester to accelerate innovation as a basis for the development of valuable molecular tests.

The pharmaceutical industry: A key asset to the European economy

Qiagen provides researchers with the company’s expertise to conquer scientific frontiers and translate genomic insights into new medicines, and makes a contribution to improving the quality of medicines. 

The research-based pharmaceutical industry is driving medical progress by researching, developing and bringing new medicines that improve health and quality of life for patients around the world; it is a key asset of the European economy, according to the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (efpia).  

“This is a true win-win situation, bringing together QIAGEN, the global leader in Sample to Insight solutions, with important intellectual assets in the U.K. to accelerate molecular biomarker research and subsequent development of new and promising diagnostic assays.

“We expect this collaborative initiative to serve as an innovation incubator to support translating genomic biomarkers into clinical use and ultimately to yield benefits for our customers and patients everywhere who need advanced diagnostic insights.”

QIAGEN’s Manchester site remains central to the company’s short-term and long-term strategic plans for global innovation and development.

QIAGEN currently has about 270 employees in Manchester and is committed to further growth. The Manchester operation plans to move into a new state-of-the-art facility in 2020, Citylabs 2.0, at the heart of the new genomics campus.