Monday, October 28, 2013

Qiagen buys CLC Bio, Expanding Genomics Portfolio

GenomeWeb reports that Qiagen has acquired CLC Bio, the company best known as the provider of the CLC Genomics Workbench.  The purchase of the bioinformatics company follows up on Qiagen's previous purchase of Ingenuity Systems in April 2013 for $105 million.

The pattern of Qiagen's recent moves over the past few years indicates that it's rapidly assembling pieces of an end-to-end genomics portfolio: It acquired ESE GmbH, a testing equipment provider that provides it with clinical exposure, in 2010; acquired Intelligent Bio-Systems, maker of a benchtop sequencer, in 2012; and has been partnering with SAP to speed up their analysis pipelines since 2012.

What makes the CLC Bio acquisition especially prudent is that Qiagen also acquires all of the expertise stemming from CLC's previous partnership with Isilon.  Isilon is EMC's brand of Big Data storage and this kind of experience is critical for managing the data that Qiagen seems like it will soon be able to generate for future clients. 

For all it's worth, Qiagen is quickly shedding the perception of being a research oriented provider of kits and reagents to becoming a much bigger company ready to come head to head with other genomics companies like Illumina in the medical space.  They're in a great position, as Qiagen is already a $5.1 billion company compared to Illumina ($11.5 billion) but still has the added benefits of having their whole line of basic research products to diversify revenues while they positions themselves as a serious competitors to other genomics companies.