An acquirer's golden rule

Peer Schatz, CEO of Qiagen N.V., says he's not a fan of building companies through acquisition. But since he took over the helm in 2004, the sample and assay technologies company has been one of the most active buyers in the space, acquiring 16 companies in the last five years. His point is an acquirer must first have an underlying capability to innovate, and that acquisitions have to plug into that core competency.

In Qiagen's case, Schatz said the core competency and strategy is in the transformation of raw biology from the sample processing steps - collection, stabilization, logistics, isolation and purification - through to the assay, including detection.

"We have taken this core competency and now sell it into four clearly defined markets: academia, molecular diagnostics, the pharma industry and applied testing customers. We are now a market leader in each of these segments," he told BioCentury.

Going forward, Qiagen wants to play a leading role in each of what it sees as the three "pillars" of diagnostics: screening/prevention, profiling symptomatic patients and personalized healthcare.

Qiagen's latest purchase is DxS Ltd., which occupies the latter space. It provides companion diagnostics designed to aid doctors and drug companies in selecting safe and effective therapies for patients based on molecular

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