Qiagen NV, Hilden, Germany, has announced a broad agreement with Ares Genetics, Vienna, a subsidiary of Curetis NV, Holzgerlingen, Germany, to develop innovative bioinformatics and assay solutions intended to accelerate research that targets the growing global health challenges posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Qiagen has acquired an exclusive license to leverage Ares Genetics’ proprietary antimicrobial resistance database, Aresdb, as well as bioinformatics tools and workflows from the Ares technology platform, Arestools, in Qiagen’s bioinformatics products and services for researchers. Qiagen also obtained a nonexclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize molecular research assays using Aresdb content with Qiagen’s next-generation sequencing (NGS) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) solutions.

Powered by artificial intelligence, Aresdb is a comprehensive, global, and continuously updated proprietary knowledgebase on genetic antibiotic resistance markers and their diagnostic relevance.

“With Qiagen as a prime supplier of industry-leading applications for the analysis and interpretation of biological data, we are well positioned to make Aresdb a key resource for cutting-edge research in the pressing healthcare issue of antimicrobial resistance,” explains Andreas Posch, PhD, managing director and CEO of Ares Genetics. “This partnership has the potential to greatly facilitate our engagement with the public health and antimicrobial resistance research communities in the further development and expansion of Aresdb, our database that is also core to the NGS-based diagnostic solutions currently developed by Ares Genetics.”

“Antibiotic-resistant diseases are an urgent threat to public health, as resistance undermines the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections. This global problem cries out for molecular insights that can lead to new understanding and therapeutic approaches,” says Jonathan Sheldon, senior vice president and head of Qiagen bioinformatics. “Partnering with Ares Genetics to leverage their genomic content with Qiagen’s expertise in bioinformatics, NGS, and PCR technologies, we will expand our portfolio of solutions to help the global community fight these infections.

“Qiagen is committed to creating best-in-class sample-to-insight solutions that help combat the global crisis in antibiotic-resistant pathogens,” adds Sheldon. “The collaboration with Ares builds on an already broad portfolio for infectious disease research tools and adds to other antimicrobial resistance-related initiatives. Qiagen will leverage the antimicrobial resistance database from Ares Genetics with its expertise in bioinformatics, assays, and services, enabling the research community to accelerate the fight against antimicrobial resistance.”

Antimicrobial resistance causes an estimated 700,000 deaths a year, and the toll is expected to grow. Already, antimicrobial resistance is making treatment difficult for a growing number of patients affected by resistant strains of pneumonia and food-borne pathogens.

The collaboration with Ares Genetics builds on Qiagen’s portfolio for infectious disease research. Qiagen will integrate the Aresdb content with its CLC genomics workbench and build a software-as-a-service portal providing standardized analysis for research and enabling flexible design of assays.

Together with Qiagen’s current sample preparation solutions, GeneGlobe portal, and dedicated bioinformatics solutions, Aresdb will expand Qiagen’s market-leading sample-to-insight offering of workflows for research into antimicrobial resistance. Qiagen solutions support basic and clinical research on a range of bacterial infections, including healthcare-associated and community-acquired infections.

For further information, visit Qiagen.