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QIAGEN Launches QIAensemble Decapper Sample Preparation Automation System

HILDEN, Germany, and GERMANTOWN, Maryland, January 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

  • Breakthrough sample preparation instrument automates handling of liquid-based cytology and other liquid vials, enables laboratories to eliminate many manual steps
  • Improves laboratory workflow by providing an automated solution for transferring clinical samples from closed primary vials to compatible tubes for downstream processing
  • QIAensemble Decapper launch in the U.S. started in late 2011, rollout under way during 2012 in Europe and other areas of the world

QIAGEN N.V. (NASDAQ: QGEN; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) announced today the launch of the QIAensemble Decapper automation system that will facilitate the handling of liquid-based cytology and various other types of liquid samples that are processed by clinical laboratories around the world.

This open platform system enables laboratories to automate many tedious manual steps required for unscrewing (or "decapping") the lids of clinical sample vials, extracting the sample material and pipetting it into testing vials and then recapping the clinical sample vial. This is considered to be a very onerous processing step due to the design of liquid cytology sample collection vials. The QIAensemble Decapper, which is considered the first instrument of its kind to be designed to support downstream molecular testing, will help to reduce the risk for injuries to laboratory staff from repetitive motions, while also eliminating the risk for variation among laboratory staff and improving productivity.

For example, a professional ergonomics evaluation of the sample preparation processing of 88 samples showed QIAensemble Decapper reduced hands-on time by 70% compared to the time required for manual processing by a laboratory worker while eliminating more than 1,200 movements.

QIAensemble Decapper has a capacity to process up to approximately 800 samples per shift (excluding set-up time and post-processing requirements). It has been designed specifically for the handling and transfer of sample materials, and the addition of reagents. The instrument accommodates a variety of fluid types of variable viscosity for both samples and reagents. The software system, which is operated by an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI), provides laboratory staff with a comprehensive and user-friendly report for each run. The software also offers chain of custody and an ability to identify samples that were not properly transferred.

QIAensemble Decapper standardizes the processing with digital data collection and is highly flexible in regards to output tube types, such as conical tubes, u-shaped tubes, BD Vacutainer® tubes and Greiner's Vacuette® tubes. Additionally, the instrument will be compatible with sample racks on the QIAsymphony SP automation system.


QIAGEN N.V., a Netherlands holding company, is the leading global provider of sample and assay technologies. Sample technologies are used to isolate and process DNA, RNA and proteins from biological samples such as blood or tissue. Assay technologies are used to make such isolated bio-molecules visible. QIAGEN has developed and markets more than 500 sample and assay products as well as automated solutions for such consumables. The company provides its products to molecular diagnostics laboratories, academic researchers, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and applied testing customers for purposes such as forensics, animal or food testing and pharmaceutical process control. QIAGEN's assay technologies include one of the broadest panels of molecular diagnostic tests available worldwide. This panel includes the digene HPV Test, which is regarded as a "gold standard" in testing for high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV), the primary cause of cervical cancer, as well as a broad suite of solutions for infectious disease testing and companion diagnostics. As of September 30, 2011, QIAGEN employed nearly 3,800 people in over 35 locations worldwide. Further information about QIAGEN can be found at

Certain of the statements contained in this news release may be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. To the extent that any of the statements contained herein relating to QIAGEN's products, markets, strategy or operating results are forward-looking, such statements are based on current expectations that involve a number of uncertainties and risks. Such uncertainties and risks include, but are not limited to, risks associated with management of growth and international operations (including the effects of currency fluctuations and risks of dependency on logistics), variability of operating results, the commercial development of the applied testing markets, clinical research markets and proteomics markets, nucleic acid-based molecular diagnostics market, and genetic vaccination and gene therapy markets, competition, rapid or unexpected changes in technologies, fluctuations in demand for QIAGEN's products (including fluctuations due to the level and timing of customers' funding, budgets, and other factors), our ability to obtain regulatory approval of our infectious disease panels, difficulties in successfully adapting QIAGEN's products to integrated solutions and producing such products, the ability of QIAGEN to identify and develop new products and to differentiate its products from competitors' products, market acceptance of QIAGEN's new products and the integration of acquired technologies and businesses. For further information, refer to the discussions in reports that QIAGEN has filed with, or furnished to, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).


Public Relations:
Dr. Thomas Theuringer
Director Public Relations

Przemek Jedrysik
Associate Director Public Relations


Investor Relations:
John Gilardi
VP Head of Corporate Communications

Albert F. Fleury
Investor Relations North America


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