Iris acquired the assets of a multipurpose, bench-top instrument for automating highly repetitive, manual laboratory protocols for FISH testing and other slide-based cytogenetic applications. The product and proprietary technology assets were purchased for $3.2 million in cash from BioMicro Systems.
The system has been developed as a standalone instrument capable of automating a growing number of laboratory protocols. It is user programmable and is capable of automating most steps of the FISH test protocol with a reduction in technology labor and an increase in reliability, according to the Iris.
The initial and primary market focus for the instrument will be for FISH applications, although, the system also automates other processes for WISH (whole mount in-situ hybridization), immunohistochemistry, Western/Southern/Northern blots, and other slide-based applications.
"The protocols used for FISH testing are very time- and temperature-sensitive and can take up to eight hours of hands-on processing time," says Robert Mello, president of the Iris sample processing division. "Through independent laboratory evaluations, we found the system was able to cut technologist's labor by at least 50% while avoiding potential operator errors, fulfilling a significant need in the marketplace as there is a declining number of CLIA-certified technicians."
BioMicro's platform will be integrated into Iris' sample processing division. It is expected to boost Iris' position in the cytogenetic instrumentation market.