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Tecan unveils the first proteomics workstation and LabCD at Innovation Day in Männedorf, Zurich
Zurich, Switzerland, 19 September 2001 - Tecan, a leading player in the fast-growing Life Sciences supply industry, today unveiled key new products at an Innovation Day held at its headquarters in Männedorf, Zurich. In the new product line-up, are Tecan Proteam FFE, a new fractionation workstation for proteomics, and the LabCD, Tecan's microfluidics consumable platform for high-throughput screening and drug development. Both products arise from recent strategic business acquisitions that give Tecan a unique intellectual property (patent) position in groundbreaking technologies for the Life Sciences industry. *
"We are very pleased to introduce these exciting new products that strengthen our product offering in high growth markets in the Life Sciences" said Emile Sutcliffe, CEO of the Tecan Group. "Tecan Proteomics was founded at the beginning of this year to leverage our position in the high growth post-genomics market. The introduction of the Tecan Proteam FFE is a milestone event in our proteomics business area that confirms our ability to deliver solutions that tackle key bottlenecks in proteomics." Mr Sutcliffe added: "We are equally pleased to be introducing the LabCD which has many applications in all of our business areas and which initially provides a much needed solution for high-throughput drug screening for ADME and toxicity assays."
Tecan Proteam FFE is a liquid fractionation device that allows rapid separation of any bio-particles ranging from cells, organelles, up to complex protein mixtures either on the basis of charge (zone electrophoresis mode) or isoelectric point (isoelectric focusing mode). The new workstation offers continuous sample loading, complete sample recovery, and significantly reduced separation times.
The new free-flow electrophoresis workstation addresses the key bottlenecks of sensitivity, reproducibility and lack of sufficient throughput that currently hinder progress in proteomics. As a front-end solution, Tecan Proteam FFE allows researchers to reduce the complexity of the proteome before performing conventional downstream analyses such as two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2D PAGE). The combination of free-flow electrophoresis (FFE) and 2D gels leads to improved separation that allows the visualization and characterization of low-abundant proteins.
The Tecan Proteam FFE workstation offers academic, biotech, and pharmaceutical companies a much needed solution to increase the throughput of their proteomics research. Tecan Proteam FFE is fully compatible with the Genesis workstation and comes complete with reagents and disposables to provide the end-user with a one-stop solution for the fractionation of molecules, polymers and particles. The Tecan Proteam FFE workstation is the first technology from Tecan for the Proteam suite, a range of products that will offer a complete solution for high-throughput automated proteomics research. Further products in this suite, will be released over the next few years.
Proteomics is the next major step toward understanding how our bodies work and how we fall victim to disease. As such, it offers enormous potential for the discovery of new protein targets for drug development. Tecan has committed a substantial portion of its total R&D budget in 2001 to Tecan Proteomics GmbH to develop innovative solutions in proteomics.
At the Innovation Day, Tecan unveiled the LabCD for ADME (Adsorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion) and toxicity assays, which are currently a major bottleneck in drug discovery for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. The LabCD is the first industrial-scale microfluidics platform on the market that offers a complete solution, including logistics, protocols and reagents, for all the requirements of high-throughput ADME toxicity assays.
The LabCD is a consumable compact disc that enables biological processes to be studied on a very small scale. The LabCD combines software, microscale fluid paths, reaction chambers and valves on one platform and offers Tecan's customers access to cost-effective solutions for high-throughput processes. The "laboratory on a CD" will enable researchers to obtain critical data at a much earlier stage in the drug discovery process reducing the costs and time needed for drug development. Tecan is developing further applications for the LabCD in its other business areas of Genomics, Proteomics and Diagnostics.
"Over the last 12 months, Tecan has invested considerable R&D resources in the development of a series of new, proprietary products that offer substantial new opportunities in all business areas. The impact of these new products will start to materialize early next year," said Emile Sutcliffe, CEO of the Tecan Group. "In the meantime, we continue to benefit from our full product range and global geographical reach. We are therefore on track to reach our objective of a 35% sales growth in local currencies for the business year 2001. Third quarter sales growth will be in excess of 35%, provided shipment and distribution to the United States will resume shortly, following the interruption of air traffic between the United States and Europe. In the second half of the year, operating expenses are expected to be at the same level as for the first half of the year. This will therefore result in an improved Ebit margin compared with the first six months of the year.
* Tecan acquired Gamera Bioscience Corporation and access to the LabCD in July 2000; a majority share in Dr Weber GmbH, a company that specializes in proprietary free-flow electrophoresis, was obtained in January of this year.
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