Netherlands-based molecular testing firm Qiagen has signed an agreement to acquire all shares of Spanish diagnostics maker STAT-Dx for a cash consideration of around $147m.

Under the terms of the agreement, STAT-Dx is eligible for an additional $44m of regulatory and commercial milestone payments from Qiagen.

Through this deal, Qiagen will obtain ownership of STAT-Dx’s system designed for fully integrated molecular analysis for oncology and to diagnose common disorders such as serious respiratory or gastrointestinal infections.

Based on real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the firm’s DiagCORE technologies, the system can be used to simultaneously carry out sample-to-insight processing of up to 48 molecular targets.

The system delivers both qualitative and quantitative insights into the accurate cause of a syndrome within approximately one hour.

It uses single-use cartridges that feature Qiagen’s sample and assay technologies developed as part of an alliance between the firms.

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“The system is designed for significantly more cost-efficient test processing as required by the current reimbursement environment.”

The system can run any type of clinical sample such as pathological tissue samples, liquid samples, or sputum samples in infectious disease, and facilitates direct on-board swab processing.

Qiagen CEO Peer Schatz said: “The system is designed for significantly more cost-efficient test processing as required by the current reimbursement environment.

“Additional application areas for this system include companion diagnostics, quantitative analysis and immunoassay tests, offering customers a new level of flexibility and accurate diagnosis designed to support better outcomes for patients and healthcare systems.”

The system, which obtained CE-IVD marking this month, will be branded as QIAstat-Dx following the closure of the acquisition in the second quarter of 2018.

Qiagen expects the system to generate around $7m this year and a minimum of $30m next year.