bioMérieux – 50 years of pioneering diagnostics
This year, bioMérieux is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Five decades of innovative thinking, 50 years at the forefront of development within the field of microbiology and advanced medical testing. As part of Institut Mérieux, bioMérieux benefits from over a century of experience in biology (or infectious diseases). A partner in public health, bioMérieux is determined to play a pioneering role in diagnostics to improve patient care and consumer safety.
By giving biologists, clinicians and industrial laboratories more comprehensive, high medical value information and results, as well as optimising the management of workflows and processes in clinical and control laboratories, bioMérieux is a key partner to hospitals, testing facilities and pharmaceutical developers all over the world.
Institut Mérieux was founded by Marcel Mérieux, a student of Louis Pasteur, in 1897. His grandson, Alain Mérieux, founded bioMérieux in 1963 and the company has flourished and expanded across the globe with a presence in over 160 countries, 41 subsidiaries and more than 7100 employees. bioMérieux looks to the future of advanced clinical testing where diagnostics will be smarter, more efficient in terms of costs and time, as well as more tailored to the needs of the patients.
The growing need for in vitro diagnostics
In vitro diagnostics are used throughout the healthcare chain to improve patient care. The information they provide also plays an important role in the development of new drugs. Thanks to remarkable advances in medicine and the life sciences, coupled with the development of new technologies, the role of diagnostics has become more prominent.
Beyond better patient outcomes, modern and highly-automated diagnostic tools help to cut costs in the entire healthcare system. In addition, in the agri-food and biopharmaceutical industries, microbiological control can prevent contamination, contributing to improving product quality and protecting consumers. Hence, the need for reliable and easy-to-use diagnostic tools is great and rapidly increasing.
bioMérieux will enhance its wide range of diagnostic tools this year. The next generation blood culture device for automatic handling of blood cultures and the Smart Incubator System, integrating novel imaging technology, are both revolutionary. They allow a high level of interaction, reliability and traceability combined with an impressive (suggest saying new level) level of automation.
Next generation blood culture devices designed to meet new challenges
Sepsis is one of the world's most common diagnosis of all medical conditions. The reason for the development of sepsis are most often bacterial infections but can also be related to fungi, parasites or viruses. In sepsis, the inflammatory reaction becomes uncontrollable and the body is no longer able to control this process. Depending on the severity of sepsis and the conditions of the patient’s general health, mortality ratio differs from 10-40%.
An important aspect in the diagnosis of sepsis is the time: the point in time when diagnosis is established and the initiation of correct treatment has a decisive influence on the course and outcome of the treatment. ”We have several diagnostic methods at hand today, but blood culturing is the basis of diagnostics and the fastest possible processing is essential. For this purpose, semi-automated blood culture devices were introduced in the late 1980s. The first BacT /ALERT® system was presented in 1989 in the USA. In 1998, the current generation of systems, the BacT/ALERT® 3D was introduced”, explains Per Svensson, Marketing Manager at bioMerieux Nordic Countries.
“We are now faced with new challenges. A higher number of samples, lower staffing and the need for expanded sample information demand a higher degree of automation than before. This heightened automation has now arrived in the field of microbiology and blood culture diagnostics: with our new blood culture system, bioMérieux is bringing features like, for example, real automation through the load-and-go principle and improved measurement technology for faster time to detection. The modular design offers flexibility to changing demands and there are also some very advanced software options embedded in the new system”.
Smart Incubator System to revolutionise market
Building on the success and the quality of PREVITM Isola (automated plate streaker), bioMérieux launches the Smart Incubation System (SIS) during 2013. “The SIS is a fully automated and intelligent incubator. Following our concept of flexibility the Smart Incubator System comes as a modular solution for stand alone or in combination with PREVITM Isola through conveyer belts, depending on our client’s needs”, Per Svensson outlines.
The smart incubator is built around three main modules: an incubation chamber with manual access, an imaging unit and a web based online user interface (Myla®).
Inside the incubator the plates are monitored on basis of characteristics of each plate type. The system will automatically photograph and process plate data in accordance with the chosen workflow to ensure that plate information is made available in due time for reading. Each plate is displayed with images from several lighting conditions to maximize readability and interpretation. Automatically the system will distinguish between plates with growth and no growth.
Rapid growth will continue
bioMérieux is pursuing its ambitious development strategy, expanding its international network and making targeted acquisitions and partnerships to integrate the most promising new technologies into our systems. Recent developments include the recent opening of a wholly owned subsidiary in Hanoi, Vietnam and a partnership with Quanterix to develop a platform for ultra sensitive and multiplex immunoassays.