Pioneering diagnostics

Strategic alliance between bioMérieux and COPAN to automate clinical microbiology laboratories and enhance their operational efficiency

09 January, 2015

bioMérieux distributes COPAN’s WASP® and WASPLab™ automated systems and speeds up deployment of its “FMLA® - Lab Efficiency” vision

Marcy l’Etoile (France) - Brescia (Italy), January 9, 2015 – bioMérieux, a world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics, and COPAN, a leading manufacturer of innovative pre-analytic solutions, are pleased to announce that they have signed a strategic partnership in clinical microbiology laboratory automation. Under the terms of the agreement, COPAN has granted distribution rights for its automated platforms (including the WASP® Walk-Away Specimen Processor and the WASPLabTM solutions which automate microbiology laboratory tasks and provide digital imaging and analysis) to bioMérieux. This agreement allows bioMérieux to speed up deployment of its “FMLA® - Lab Efficiency*” vision for the automation and enhanced operational efficiency of clinical microbiology labs. In this field, the two companies also plan to collaborate in particular for the development of innovative clinical microbiology diagnostic solutions.

This agreement combines COPAN’s unique know-how in pre-analytics with bioMérieux cutting-edge expertise in microbiological diagnostics. Since January 1st 2015, bioMérieux has been COPAN’s exclusive distributor in France, and a co-exclusive distributor in Germany and the United Kingdom to distribute COPAN’s WASP® and WASPLabTM systems. Then bioMérieux’s commercialization rights will gradually be expanded, on the basis of co-exclusive distribution, to a number of key countries. WASP® and WASPLabTM are innovative, flexible and robust. They meet the most demanding needs of microbiology laboratories and will enrich bioMérieux’s range of automated solutions, including BacT/ALERT® and VIRTUOTM blood culture systems, as well as VITEK® 2 and VITEK® MS for bacterial identification and automated antibiotic susceptibility testing.

Alexandre Mérieux, Chief Executive Officer of bioMérieux, said: “We are extremely pleased to announce this partnership with COPAN, a company whose expertise is recognized worldwide. As the leader in microbiology, we look forward to providing our customer base with a complete product offer combining COPAN innovative automation with our own diagnostic solutions. With highly complementary know-how, bioMérieux and COPAN will meet the growing needs of microbiology laboratories in terms of efficiency, standardization, traceability and reduced turn-around times.”

Stefania Triva, CEO and General Manager of COPAN Group, declared: ”We are proud and enthusiastic of this agreement with bioMérieux, establishing a collaboration that was envisioned by my brother Daniele Triva. This partnership paves the ground for a long term synergy allowing both companies to design and deliver solutions for innovative microbiology.”

This agreement is part of bioMérieux’s “FMLA®” vision, renamed “Lab Efficiency.” In addition to automating certain tasks, laboratories would like to significantly enhance their operational efficiency, make up for the growing shortage of specialized staff, and obtain the accreditation they need to operate. This can be accomplished by streamlining workflows while delivering faster and more standardized results and improving traceability of analyses. The “bioMérieux - COPAN” offering is unique and the most complete on the market. It combines fully automated, modular and flexible diagnostic solutions of COPAN and bioMérieux. Its roll-out adds value to laboratory customers and is based on an audit of workflows using the LeanSigma® method – the most effective method to optimize organizational performance to date – and on Myla® innovative middleware for the connection between instruments, for the management of microbiology laboratory workflows and for the centralization of the necessary information to interpret results.

Sharing a common vision of open, modular automation, teams at bioMérieux and COPAN plan to work together closely. Driven by the momentum of innovative projects under development at both companies (workflow optimization, imaging and software algorithms), their collaboration should give rise to the joint development of new, interconnected diagnostic solutions in microbiology.

bioMérieux 2014 consolidated income statement could record operating expenses corresponding to the signature of this agreement, particularly allocations to provisions for the depreciation of some equipment.

* Operational efficiency of laboratories

ABOUT COPAN

With a reputation for innovation in preanalytics, COPAN is the leading supplier of collection and transport systems in the world. COPAN's innovations in pre-analytics include patented Flocked Swabs, ESwab, and UTM Viral Transport, which have been proven to advance the quality of traditional and contemporary microbiology assays through improved fluid-dynamics. Established in 1979, COPAN has successfully entered the field of Microbiology Laboratory Automation with WASP® and WASPLab.

ABOUT WASP® AND WASPLabTM

The WASP® Walk-Away Specimen Processor is a truly revolutionary instrument for liquid sample processing for microbiology. The WASP® provides a comprehensive system which encompasses all aspects of automated specimen processing: planting and streaking, Gram slide preparation, enrichment broth inoculation and Kirby-Bauer set-up and disk application.

Designed to transform the work of laboratory managers and technologists, the WASPLabTM system moves current laboratories to the digital microbiology era through high resolution culture plate images, improving speed, interpretation, reliability and accessibility of results.

ABOUT BIOMERIEUX

Pioneering Diagnostics

A world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics for 50 years, bioMérieux is present in more than 150 countries through 41 subsidiaries and a large network of distributors. In 2013, bioMérieux’s revenues reached €1,588 million with 87% of sales outside of France.

bioMérieux provides diagnostic solutions (reagents, instruments, software) which determine the source of disease and contamination to improve patient health and ensure consumer safety. Its products are used for diagnosing infectious diseases and providing high medical value results for cancer screening and monitoring and cardiovascular emergencies. They are also used for detecting microorganisms in agri-food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.

 

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