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QIAGEN partners with Hamilton Robotics to help law enforcement agencies reduce DNA testing backlogs
HILDEN, Germany and GERMANTOWN, MD Oct. 10, 2016 QIAGEN N.V. (NASDAQ: QGEN; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) today announced the launch of automated high-throughput solutions, developed in partnership with Hamilton Robotics, to serve the growing need for DNA fingerprinting of samples for human identity databases. The streamlined automated workflows enable high-throughput assay setup for analyzing large numbers of reference samples collected for law enforcement databases.
“QIAGEN is pleased to partner with Hamilton to launch complete, efficient solutions for human identity workflows, especially to help increase capacity and relieve backlogs in law enforcement database laboratories. This substantially broadens our presence in forensics and human ID,” said Dr. Thomas Schnibbe, Senior Director and Head of QIAGEN's global forensics franchise. “Our Investigator® STR GO! Kits for amplification of short tandem repeats (STRs) already provide fast, convenient processing of samples. The workflow developed with Hamilton includes QIAGEN’s new STAR Q instrument line for efficient pre-treatment and assay setup, coupling robust chemistry with a streamlined process to deliver speed, low unit cost and high quality. Furthermore the solution features QIAGEN’s new Quality Sensor, a novel internal performance control perfecting quality monitoring in highly automated processes.”
National databases have become powerful tools for investigators to solve crimes by matching DNA from crime scenes or suspects, and recent legislative changes provide for DNA collection from more individuals entering the criminal justice system to populate these datasets. About 30 European countries, a similar number of U.S. states, and several Asia-Pacific countries now take swabs or other samples upon arrest or charging of suspects. As legislation changes and sample submissions increase, many laboratories are facing backlogs in processing DNA samples for databases, so the need for automated handling in labs is growing.
The solutions from QIAGEN and Hamilton address this challenge by expanding throughput while maintaining success rates and quality standards. The workflows enable labs to receive DNA samples from police (typically in buccal swabs or treated collection paper such as FTA cards), process them rapidly for analysis, and upload the digitized information to databases. At the front end, pre-treatment and assay setup for QIAGEN’s Investigator GO! assays is simplified by pre-installed and pre-validated protocols on the STAR Q Punch AS Instrument (for paper based samples) and STAR Q Swab AS (for buccal swabs).
“Partnering on a non-exclusive basis with QIAGEN enhances the power and capabilities of Hamilton’s solutions to help forensic scientists cope with ever-increasing demands for higher throughput, quality and traceability,” said Dr. Jörg Pochert, VP of Hamilton Robotics. “Collaborating with leading laboratories, we have greatly simplified DNA fingerprinting of known individuals for databases. Together, QIAGEN and Hamilton technologies will now help labs address DNA databasing challenges with a new generation of solutions.”
QIAGEN N.V., a Netherlands-based holding company, is the leading global provider of Sample to Insight solutions that enable customers to gain valuable molecular insights from samples containing the building blocks of life. Our sample technologies isolate and process DNA, RNA and proteins from blood, tissue and other materials. Assay technologies make these biomolecules visible and ready for analysis. Bioinformatics software and knowledge bases interpret data to report relevant, actionable insights. Automation solutions tie these together in seamless and cost-effective workflows. QIAGEN provides solutions to more than 500,000 customers around the world in Molecular Diagnostics (human healthcare), Applied Testing (forensics, veterinary testing and food safety), Pharma (pharma and biotech companies) and Academia (life sciences research). As of June 30, 2016, QIAGEN employed approximately 4,600 people in over 35 locations worldwide. Further information can be found at http://www.qiagen.com.
About Hamilton Robotics
Hamilton Robotics, an affiliate of Hamilton Company, is a leading global manufacturer providing automated liquid handling workstations and laboratory automation technology to the scientific community. With a focus on innovative design, Hamilton products incorporate patented liquid handling technologies, and our portfolio includes liquid handling platforms, standard application-based solutions, small devices, consumables, and OEM liquid handling solutions. Known for advancing life science, clinical diagnostics, forensics and biotechnology industries, our products offer reliability, performance, and flexibility. Ensuring a continuous commitment to quality, Hamilton utilizes state-of-the-art manufacturing at production facilities in Reno, Nevada and Bonaduz, Switzerland, and has earned a global ISO 9001 certification. Privately held, Hamilton maintains headquarters in Reno, Nevada; Franklin, Massachusetts; and Bonaduz, Switzerland, along with subsidiary offices throughout the world. www.hamiltoncompany.com/robotics