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09/26/2008

QIAGEN and Chinese Academy of Sciences Form Collaboration for Development of New Molecular Food Safety Tests



QIAGEN and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) announced a collaboration to develop new molecular testing solutions to improve the safety of food products. The CAS/SIBS-QIAGEN Collaboration for Food Safety has officially started today with a signing ceremony hosted by Dr. Chen Yan, Director of CAS/SIBS/INS, and Mr. Peer Schatz, CEO of QIAGEN.

The collaboration takes place at the campus of the Institute of Nutritional Sciences (INS), Shanghai Institute of Biological Sciences (SIBS) in Xuhui district, and has been operational since mid-September. QIAGEN will equip the joint lab with instruments and consumables while CAS will provide the physical space and researchers. Under this collaboration, food safety experts from the INS will use QIAGEN technologies, to develop a wide range of molecular tests for the detection of food-borne pathogens. These QIAplex multiplex assays allow the design of highly sensitive molecular tests for up to 50 different pathogens in one single run.

"INS has been looking to work with a well respected international biotechnology company" said Dr. Chen Yan. "This collaboration with QIAGEN will help developing much needed food safety products not only for the Chinese but also for international markets. The partnership will aim to raise food safety standards in our country and thereby prevent any harm to the health of our consumers in the future."

In recent years, the Asian Pacific Region, and particularly China, has become a major exporter of a broad range of food products including rice and poultry and also host of various major international events such as the Olympics and the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. As such, governments of the region have been striving to raise food safety standards to the levels of their trading partners and western countries. Currently, the Chinese government is taking stringent measures to significantly enhance food safety testing, particularly in the dairy sector, following the recent incident involving contaminated dairy products.

Also other rapidly growing Asian economies need to ensure food safety for a growing number of their own consumers - as recent incidents have shown. Many countries still lack the adequate technology or procedures to respond to these developments. According to the WHO, 20 million cases of food-borne infections occur in the Asian Pacific region alone, which accounts for more than 50 per cent of global burden of this disease. "The disease burden and death toll resulting from food-borne infections are not acceptable", says Peer Schatz. "The development and application of new molecular tests provide the most reliable way to mitigate or even prevent these illnesses caused by the consumption of unsafe food here in Asia, while at the same time enhancing the region's value as food exporters. We are therefore very proud to have entered this collaboration with CAS, which will feed the growing demand for quicker, more accurate and more efficient tests for food-borne pathogens by employing the power of the most advanced molecular testing technologies".

Source: Qiagen GmbH




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