At the beginning of 2019, QIAGEN announced the acquisition of N-of-One, Inc., a molecular oncology decision support company that provides case-specific, expert-powered clinical NGS interpretation services and solutions.
We sat down with Sean Scott, QIAGEN’s Chief Business Officer and Vice President of Business Development for Clinical Genomics and Bioinformatics, to discuss QIAGEN’s plans for post-acquisition incorporation and what new value QIAGEN customers can expect.
How does the acquisition of N-of-One fit into QIAGEN’s clinical bioinformatics strategy?
Sean Scott: This acquisition represents a unique opportunity for QIAGEN and N-of-One to combine respective strengths to deliver the industry’s most robust portfolio of molecular oncology decision support solutions from one provider. N-of-One’s technology-enabled, yet human-driven, services and the proprietary MarkerMine™ database are planned to be integrated into QIAGEN Clinical Insight (QCI), our platform for NGS analysis and interpretation. We are opening the door to real-world evidence (RWE) and creating new opportunities for supporting healthcare providers and payers.
What does the acquisition mean from a pharmaceutical company’s perspective?
Sean Scott: The addition of N-of-One’s MarkerMine database and commercial data rights creates an attractive and expandable link into RWE insights. N-of-One’s Genomic Insights and analytics services can be commercialized to pharmaceutical industry partners—in particular to more than 25 companies with which QIAGEN has deep companion diagnostic co-development relationships—to support patient cohort analytics, patient stratification, trial protocol design, assay design and interpretation, trial accrual and market forecasting, patient-to-trial matching and other features.
How does N-of-One differ from other molecular decision support providers?
Sean Scott: N-of-One is one of the best-known brands in molecular oncology decision support. It is well-established with labs, pharma companies, and payers, and N-of-One has been the solution-of-choice for leading diagnostic companies, such as Foundation Medicine. Unlike other providers, N-of-One employs a team of over 30 PhD scientists and oncologists to research and analyze each patient case, and in the process, N-of-One has amassed one of the most comprehensive resources of oncology clinical and scientific evidence in the industry with more than 125,000 anonymized patient samples.
How could real-world evidence and patient data impact clinical development program design?
Sean Scott: Today, all stakeholders in the healthcare spectrum—pharmaceutical developers, payers, regulators, physicians and patients—are putting their money on the collection and analysis of many different types of RWE as a key enabling strategy, to close critical gaps in knowledge, give physicians and patients broader access to therapies, and help payers realize the actual value of those therapies in improving health and reducing costs. While still at an early stage, RWE is becoming increasingly used to complement traditional RCT data to inform important healthcare decisions. This suggests that RWE will have a significant impact on the healthcare industry in the years to come.