BASEL, Switzerland, January 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- EyeSense AG, a leading developer of novel ophthalmic self-diagnostic systems for glucose monitoring of diabetes patients, today announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with QIAGEN . Capitalizing on QIAGEN's ESE fluorescence-based optical technology and on Eyesense's glucose sensing technology, the partners intend to develop a new optical measurement technology for blood glucose monitoring in diabetes patients. QIAGEN acquired a minority equity stake in EyeSense, and attained royalty rights for future commercialization. Both the investment and the partnership are aimed at further expanding the range of applications for the growing segment of point-of-need testing and individualized treatment of patients. Financial details have not been disclosed.

EyeSense's blood glucose monitoring (BGM) approach marks an important step forward in the diabetes field. The Company's innovative and painless device is based on a non-invasive ophthalmic diagnostic system, and first patient studies have already yielded promising data. The ease of use, robustness, and reliability of the device will empower patients to manage their disease with confidence, and with improved comfort. EyeSense's technology is poised to introduce a completely new way of self-diagnosis that will be applicable to other therapeutic areas as well. The Company intends to launch the new device in 2013.

"The collaboration with QIAGEN is an important validation of EyeSense's progress to date, and substantially strengthens our development efforts," said Achim Muller, CEO and co-founder of EyeSense AG. "With its leadership in innovative optical measurement systems, QIAGEN is an ideal partner to help us maximize our development and engineering know-how, take our technology to the next level, and put our advanced monitoring devices in the hands of patients at an accelerated pace.

"QIAGEN is investing strategically in innovative companies like EyeSense by taking a minority equity position and partnering to bring novel technologies to market," said Ulrich Schriek, Vice President Business Development for QIAGEN. "EyeSense has created a highly innovative product concept with potential to provide significant health benefits to people with diabetes and eliminate the need for painful blood sampling multiple times a day. This partnership adds a promising new application and builds on QIAGEN's technology position in point-of-need testing with dramatic potential for patients. It is also a great example of leveraging core technologies into a new area of diagnostics in which QIAGEN has not been active."

With more than 250 million diabetics in the world today, blood glucose measurement is one of the largest diagnostic markets, generating annual sales estimated at $11 billion. BGM is one of the most effective strategies to prevent serious harm to the patient's health such as cardiovascular disease, kidney failure or blindness. If measured regularly and accurately, the measurement of glucose levels can help save health insurance systems billions of dollars, while simultaneously significantly improving patients' quality of life.