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November 2, 2001 | Customer News

Tecan launches a new solution for viral RNA extraction on the Genesis Robotic Sample Processor (RSP)

Tecan launches a new solution for viral RNA extraction on the Genesis Robotic Sample Processor (RSP)

  • Outstanding performance for high throughput viral RNA nucleic acid testing (NAT)
  • Versatile hardware solution for use with Qiagen’s QIAamp® 96 Viral RNA Biorobot kit and other commercially available RNA extraction kits
  • Easy-to-use software to control all RNA extraction steps
  • Novel clogged-filter plate check to prevent liquid overflow in the event of filter blockage

Zurich, Switzerland, 30 October 2001  – Tecan, a leading player in the fast-growing Life Sciences supply industry, announced today the launch of a new application for viral RNA extraction and nucleic acid testing (NAT) on the Genesis Robotic Sample Processor (RSP). The Genesis RSP provides a fast, reliable and highly accurate system to automate the extraction of viral RNA from plasma, serum and other biological samples. When used with the Qiagen QIAamp® 96 Viral RNA Biorobot kit, the Genesis RSP can extract RNA from 96 samples simultaneously within 120 minutes. This outstanding performance enables a laboratory to process up to 400 samples a day for RNA testing.

The Tecan viral RNA extraction solution has been developed for clinical laboratories, blood banks, blood transfusion centers, reference and diagnostic laboratories that need to detect RNA viruses. RNA viruses include chronic disease-causing agents such as hepatitis C virus and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Several nucleic acid testing (NAT) kits are available commercially to detect a wide range of RNA viruses known to contaminate blood samples. However, conventional methods for nucleic acid extraction have been hampered by slow and laborious procedures and problems due to cross-contamination.

In the new solution from Tecan, pooled or single donations of blood samples are used to prepare blood plasma for viral RNA extraction. Using vacuum extraction, RNA is extracted by adsorption onto solid-phase columns that are included in the Qiagen QIAamp® 96 Viral RNA Biorobot kit. RNA is allowed to bind to the silica columns, the columns are washed, and finally the RNA is eluted from the silica columns. The eluate is collected in a 96-well deep-well plate and RNA is amplified by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) before detection is performed.

Tecan’s solution offers distinct advantages. Unlike other systems, the Genesis RSP allows selection of any number of samples for analysis up to a maximum of 96; rapid processing of samples is possible due to the inclusion of an 8-channel pipettor. For the first time, an extraction system is available that eliminates possible cross-contamination by using a checking procedure that sets aside any wells where clogged filters are detected. This unique checking procedure allows many samples to be processed without interruption. All parts of the system are designed to permit easy cleaning after use. In addition, the Genesis RSP solution for RNA extraction has been specifically designed to support the use of four A-rings (reaction vessels) that ensure compatibility with the Cobas Amplicor® HCV V2.0 RNA testing kit (Roche).

An important part of the system is the easy-to-use NAT-Q vRNA V1.0 software. This software has been specially designed to control RNA extraction using the Qiagen QIAamp® 96 Viral RNA Biorobot kit. The software tracks all samples, checks for clogged filters and provides a superior management system for the whole RNA extraction procedure. In addition to NAT-Q vRNA V1.0, Gemini V3.2 software is included to control the extraction process. In combination with the Cobas Amplicor® HCV V2.0 (Roche) kit, the Genesis RSP system provides an outstanding performance that can detect hepatitis C viral RNA to a level of 35 IU/ml (95% confidence).

The Genesis RSP/ Qiagen QIAamp® 96 Viral RNA Biorobot kit system has been rigorously validated in combination with the Cobas Amplicor® HCV V2.0 (Roche) by the Blood Transfusion Service in Bern, Switzerland. The analytical sensitivity, specificity, precision, and robustness of this test combination were investigated. The validation results for hepatitis C viral RNA extraction, amplification, and detection were sent to the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) in Langen, Germany, where they were approved.

Dr Michael Chudy of the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) in Langen, Germany commented to Tecan: “The application of the QIAamp® 96 Viral RNA Biorobot kit on the Tecan Genesis RSP platform in combination with the Cobas Amplicor® HCV Test V2.0 is suitable for screening of blood donations to detect HCV RNA according to the German regulation for cellular blood components and fresh frozen plasma (BAnz [Federal Gazette] No 63, 114, and 180). With respect to the defined detection limit of HCV RNA (5,000 IU/ml for a single donation) this test combination can be used for a maximum pool size of 48 single donations."

This outstanding solution for viral RNA extraction from Tecan includes the Genesis RSP, NAT-Q vRNA V1.0 and Gemini V3.2  software. The QIAamp® 96 Viral RNA Biorobot kit is available separately from Qiagen. Existing users of the Genesis RSP may obtain an upgrade to support the use of the QIAamp® 96 Viral RNA Biorobot kit.

Tecan (www.tecan.com) is a leading player in the fast growing Life Sciences supply industry that specializes in the development, production, and distribution of enabling solutions for the discovery of pharmaceutical substances, as well as for genomics, proteomics, and diagnostics. Tecan clients are leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, university research departments and diagnostic laboratories. Founded in Switzerland in 1980, the company has manufacturing, research and development sites in both North America and Europe and maintains a sales and service network in 52 countries. In 2000, Tecan achieved sales of CHF 273.5 million (USD 162 million; EUR 175 million). Registered shares of Tecan Group are traded on the Swiss SWX stock exchange (TK: TECN / Reuters: TECZn.S / Valor : 707821).

For more information, please contact :

Product information:

Tecan Group Ltd.
Cornelia Kegele
Manager Marketing Communications and Branding
Tel.: +41 (0)44 922 81 11
Fax: +41 (0)44 922 82 81
e-mail: cornelia.kegele@tecan.com
Internet: www.tecan.com

Editorial contact:

Rochat & Partners
Barry Whyte
Geneva
Switzerland
Tel.: +41 (0)22 786 54 55
Fax: +41 (0)22 786 54 58
e-mail: barry@rochat-pr.ch

Investor Relations:

Tecan Group Ltd.
Annabelle Brameshuber
Corporate Communications
Tel.: +41 (0)44 922 8430
e-mail: investor@tecan.com