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QIAGEN to Supply Singapore Ministry of Health with Avian Flu Surveillance Solutions

Exclusive contract is the latest in a series of agreements with international institutions that monitor the spreading of the virus strain

(PresseBox) (Venlo, ) QIAGEN (Nasdaq: QGEN; Frankfurt, Prime Standard: QIA) today announced that it has been awarded an exclusive contract by the Singapore Ministry of Health to supply sample preparation solutions and molecular tests for the specific detection of Influenza H5N1 viruses – better known as avian flu.

For the country’s Avian Influenza Preparedness Program QIAGEN provides both fully automated and manual sample preparation technologies for the extraction of viral nucleic acids. These are complemented by test kits for specific and sensitive detection of the highly pathogenic Avian Influenza strain. The contract runs for three years and the volume depends on minimum stockpiling levels as well as the level of intensity of the country’s surveillance program.

The contract with the Singapore Ministry of Health is the latest supply agreement of QIAGEN with public and private institutions engaged in H5N1 surveillance. More than 80 institutes worldwide involved in the surveillance of avian flu infection use procedures and reagents developed and offered by QIAGEN.

"This new contract is proof not only of the strong confidence of public health organizations in the performance, quality and reliability of QIAGEN’s products, but also of their trust in the capabilities we as a market leader can provide in terms of logistics and safety of supply. Our global infrastructure enables us to deliver high volumes of products within very short periods of time from multiple manufacturing sites", said Peer Schatz, CEO of QIAGEN. "We support the global community in its efforts to expand its early warning systems that can monitor changes in viral infection which could lead to a pandemic. QIAGEN is proud to expand this effort by making its products available also to the Singapore Ministry of Health’s surveillance program."

The H5N1 virus occurs mainly in birds and has proven to be highly contagious. While the virus does not usually infect people, the avian flu has crossed the species barrier to infect humans. In addition, all influenza viruses have the ability to change and it is possible that in time, the avian flu could be able to infect humans and spread easily from one person to another. Currently, the avian flu is spreading throughout the world with increasing velocity, particularly the Asia-type, which features unusually high levels of persistency and pathogenicity. Should the virus encroach on humans, a following pandemic could lead to the deaths of between 2 and 7.4 million lives - according to estimates of the World Health Organization (WHO).