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France's Innopsys Says Array Scanner Sales Rose 25 Percent in '09; Firm Plans US Marketing Effort

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By Justin Petrone

Innopsys, a French microarray scanner and software maker, this week reported a 25-percent spike in 2009 receipts and a 30-percent increase in first-quarter sales.

The privately held company, based in Carbonne, said it expects total 2010 revenue to increase 30 percent to $2.6 million as it focuses on the US market.

For the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2009, Innopsys' revenues rose 25 percent to $2 million from $1.6 million in 2008.

CEO Stéphane Le Brun told BioArray News that Innopsys is growing for "multiple reasons," including an increase in distribution deals, increased adoption in the market for "medium-range microarray scanners," and referrals from partners like Progenika and BlueGnome, which he said are increasing the firm's sales "constantly."

Founded as an optics company in 1999, Innopsys entered the biotechnology market in 2006 with its InnoScan 700, a 3-micron resolution system. In 2008, it launched its InnoScan 900, a 1-micron resolution system (BAN 6/3/2008). The firm also sells an autoloader and Mapix software for use with its scanners.

Laurence Bouet, Innopsys' managing director, said in a statement that the firm has placed about 200 InnoScan scanners so far, mainly in Europe and Asia, but expects to increase sales in the US this year.

Innopsys's tools are currently sold in the US by Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Arrayit. Le Brun said that Innopsys is discussing whether to add another distributor in the US or to create a US office to reach more US customers. The decision will be made before the end of the year, he said.

Last year global quality assurance firm SGS certified that Innopsys products met the 9001 and 13485 standards of the International Organization for Standardization. ISO 9001 covers quality management systems in general, while ISO 13485 provides standards for the manufacture of medical devices.

Le Brun said the firm's objective to develop diagnostic applications with partners was "strengthened" by the certification. "Now, we offer to our diagnostic partners a unique complete CE-IVD-ready platform, including the scanner and the diagnostic software," he said.

According to Innopsys it now spends roughly 35 percent of its annual revenue on R&D. The company said that it is developing new high-resolution fluorescence imaging systems for use with arrays, and plans to develop systems for use with tissue microarrays or digital pathology imaging.

"We are increasing the InnoScan instrument resolution up to more than 0.5 [nanometers] … to compete with fluorescence microscopy on specific applications, for instance tissue microarrays," Le Brun said.

Innopsys is also developing a diffraction-based detection technology and a "new, very high potential technology" for biomolecule deposition. Le Brun said this second project is "mature enough" to expect a product launch in 2011. "It will have applications for medium- and low-density arrays, but more generally for any kind of application where the user needs to easily deposit biomolecules on a glass slide," Le Brun added.

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