Qiagen picks up DNA forensics company for $150M
Dutch analytics and research services giant Qiagen has bought the forensic genetics company Verogen for $150 million, the companies announced Monday.
Verogen performs DNA testing on samples from crime scenes, war zones, natural disasters and other non-clinical or research settings. In recent years, criminal investigators and amateur sleuths have used genetic testing to solve cold cases that have remained dormant for years, often using genetic tests combined with large DNA databases to track down suspects.
In one high-profile case, investigators used DNA, combined with commercially available family genetic databases, to catch the “Golden State Killer,” an ex-police officer who eventually pled guilty to 13 murders that were committed in California in the 1970s and 1980s.
Qiagen will buy the closely-held company with cash, and expects sales from the unit of about $20 million this year, the companies said in a press release. The companies have had a distribution partnership since 2021.
Qiagen’s chemistry and testing kits are already widely used in forensic analysis, the company said. But the deal with give Qiagen access to an Illumina machine that Verogen uses specifically configured for forensics work, especially harder-to-process samples. It will also gain a database interface, GEDMatch, that allows the company and law enforcement to match samples across commercially available DNA banks, including genealogy sites that contain millions of profiles uploaded by members of the public interested in their family histories.