QIAGEN and the JCSG Announce Agreement for Commercialization of Sample Technologies for Protein Crystallography

7/20/2007, 6:30 AM (Source: GlobeNewswire)
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QIAGEN will supply proven, ready-to-use screening sets to determine
protein structures

VENLO, The Netherlands / SAN DIEGO, CA, July 20, 2007 - QIAGEN N.V.,
the leading provider of sample and assay technologies for research in
life sciences, molecular diagnostics and applied testing, today
announced that it has entered a strategic agreement with the Joint
Center for Structural Genomics (JCSG), one of the 4 PSI Structural
Genomics Production Centers, providing protein crystallographers with
a new set of proven crystallization screens that have been assembled
from analysis of hundreds of thousands of crystallization
experiments.

Protein crystallography is a complex process used to determine the
three-dimensional structure of proteins. By elucidating the structure
of proteins, scientists can discover new drugs that more effectively
target disease. To generate crystals, protein samples undergo a
crystallization screening step, in which protein samples are combined
in multiple reactions with different chemical solutions.

This set of 384 conditions - split into four screens of 96 unique
conditions - was previously provided by QIAGEN as a customized
product and will be supplied to the wider market as The JCSG Core
Suites I-IV. The new screens are the result of analyzing over 500,000
high-throughput crystallization experiments performed at the JCSG.
The 384 crystallization conditions that provided the highest hit
rates in initial screening were chosen to form the screens [Lesley
SA, Wilson IA. "Protein production and crystallization at the Joint
Center for Structural Genomics." J. Struct. Funct. Genom., 6: 71-79
(2005)].

"Improving initial sample preparation screens for crystallization is
a continuous effort of the crystallographic community", said Kai te
Kaat, Global Business Director Proteins at QIAGEN. "These new screens
are the result of mining the vast database of crystallization
experiments performed by the JCSG. We are proud to have been selected
by the JCSG as their partner to commercialize these screens to the
entire crystallographic community in QIAGEN's proprietary sample
technology formats."

The JCSG has chosen QIAGEN as their main supplier of crystallization
screens for its proven quality and customer orientation in the
development process. "I am delighted that QIAGEN markets these JCSG
screens", said Professor Ian Wilson, Principal Investigator of the
JCSG. "It enables the fruits of the NIH Protein Structure Initiative
to become available to all structure biologists and allow them the
opportunity to enhance their own individual success rates in protein
crystallization."

QIAGEN entered the market for sample preparation of proteins for
crystallization in 2005. The objective behind all QIAGEN sample
technologies for protein crystallization is to help reduce the time
required for sample preparation to produce crystals and determine
structures. The comprehensive product line aims to simplify and
standardize sample preparation for protein crystallization using
unique, ready-to-use kits that provide scientists with fast and easy
experimental setups in manual and automatable formats. With the
world's largest offering of protein crystallization screening
conditions available in a wide range of formats - from highly
innovative sample technologies for crystallization that make setup
and screening easy and convenient to bulk formats for higher
throughputs - QIAGEN products deliver unparalleled quality,
convenience, and flexibility for sample preparation in protein
crystallization. The precise chemical composition of every solution
is recorded in a detailed production report that can be downloaded
from the QIAGEN website, ensuring maximum reproducibility.

About Protein Crystallography
The human body contains around a million different proteins with
essential roles in maintaining life. To learn how proteins function,
scientists must understand a protein's structure. One way to achieve
this is by x-ray crystallography, for which the protein must first be
crystallized. Because there are no empirical rules governing which
conditions individual proteins will crystallize, the complex process
of preparing samples to obtain diffraction quality crystals requires
screening of a large amount of conditions and can take from several
weeks to several years. Once crystals are obtained, precise
measurements of thousands of diffraction intensities from each
crystal help scientists map the probable positions of the atoms
within each protein molecule, and ultimately derive a 3D structure.
With an improved understanding of the molecular structure and
interactions of proteins, scientists are able to develop new drugs
and treatments that target specific human, animal, and plant
diseases.

About the Joint Center of Structural Genomics Consortium (JCSG)
The JCSG is funded by the National Institute for General Medical
Sciences (NIGMS), as part of the Protein Structure Initiative (PSI)
of the National Institutes of Health. Its initial mission was "to
establish a robust and scalable protein structure determination
pipeline that will form the foundation for a large-scale effective
production center for structural genomics". A number of institutes
make up the JCSG consortium, with major centers at The Scripps
Research Institute (TSRI); the Genomics Institute of the Novartis
Research Foundation (GNF); The University of California San Diego
(UCSD); The Burnham Institute for Medical Research (Burnham); and the
Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) at Stanford
University. As part of the PSI program, North America's largest fully
integrated crystallization platform has been established at TSRI
using liquid handling and visualization instruments from Rigaku
Automation (previously RoboDesign) with substantial support from IAVI
(International AIDS Vaccine Initiative) and TSRI. More information
can be obtained at http://www.jcsg.org .

About QIAGEN
QIAGEN N.V., a Netherlands holding company is the leading provider of
innovative sample and assay technologies and products. QIAGEN's
products are considered standards in areas such pre-analytical sample
preparation and assay solutions in research for life sciences,
applied testing and molecular diagnostics. QIAGEN has developed a
comprehensive portfolio of more than 500 proprietary, consumable
products and automated solutions for sample collection, nucleic acid
and protein handling, separation, and purification and open and
target specific assays. The company's products are sold to academic
research markets, to leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology
companies, to applied testing customers (such as in forensics,
veterinary, biodefense and industrial applications) as well as to
molecular diagnostics laboratories. QIAGEN employs more than 2000
people worldwide. QIAGEN products are sold through a dedicated sales
force and a global network of distributors in more than 40 countries.
Further information about QIAGEN can be found at www.qiagen.com.


Contacts:

Dr. Thomas Theuringer Nicole York
Manager Public Relations Marketing Communications
Tel: 0049-2103-29-11826 Manager
Email: thomas.theuringer@qiagen.com Tel.: 001-240-68-67660
Email: nicole.york@qiagen.com
www.qiagen.com



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