Companies strive to use technology to develop fully automated OEM system for central labs.

Tecan has negotiated rights to IP embodied in Enigma Diagnostics’ fully automated Enigma® molecular diagnostics system. Tecan will be able to use the IP to develop a next-generation molecular diagnostic platform for a potential OEM partner. The new system and consumables will be targeted at the central laboratories market and include features such as random sample access, complete automation from sample to result, and rapid data generation.

The deal builds on an agreement signed by Tecan and Enigma in February 2010 for the manufacture and supply of Enigma’s latest point-of-care molecular diagnostic instrument, the Enigma ML (mini lab). Under terms of this deal Tecan took on the role of industrializing and delivering commercially manufactured ML instruments for an initial five-year contract and will also manage the ML instrument’s supply chain.

“We are delighted to have signed this license agreement with Enigma for their innovative sample-preparation and thermocycling technology,” remarks Tecan CEO Thomas Bachmann on the latest agreement. “The license provides us with the opportunity to approach a potential OEM partner with our concept of an integrated solution for molecular diagnostics that includes a unique instrument as well as enabling consumables.”

Located in the U.K., Enigma is focused on developing portable and totally automated PCR-based diagnostic instruments that provide rapid results in real time. The firm’s flagship Enigma FL system has been designed to combine the speed and sensitivity of real-time PCR with the simplicity needed for field-based point-of-care molecular tests. The portable system uses a disposable cartridge technology and is completely self-contained, enabling the entire process from collection of raw sample to the delivery of results, in under 30 minutes, Enigma claims.

Based on the Enigma FL technology, the Enigma ML system has been adapted specifically to meet the requirements of clinical laboratory and point-of-care settings. Capable of performing multiplex, real-time PCR assays for both DNA and RNA targets, the system can handle swabs and liquid samples, and offers the same integrated sample preparation and analysis features of the Enigma FL, Enigma claims. In its simplest form the ML technology can be configured as a single module, but multiple processing modules can also be combined and controlled by a single master unit to allow the random-access, parallel running of different samples and tests.

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