On February 23rd, Guava and then-Amersham Biosciences announced that they had inked an exclusive three-year agreement in which Amersham had agreed to distribute PCA systems in its Japanese territory.
Amersham already had the IN Cell Analyzer platform of high-throughput, confocal microscopy-based instruments in its portfolio, and according to the press release, the PCA would be "complementary."
"The IN Cell probably runs close to $1 million and can do 40,000 to 80,000 wells per day," said Olson. "The Guava instrument is obviously not nearly as fast, but it is ideal for secondary screening. If you're running the IN Cell seven days a week for your primary screens, you're probably not going to want to stop it to do secondary screening."
Guava President and CEO Rajen Dalal told Inside Bioassays that he didn't see the recent GE acquisition of Amersham Biosciences having a significant impact on the deal.
"I don't see it affecting our relationship," Dalal said. "In fact, we're rather pleased that the power of GE Medical Systems will now be combined with Amersham. GE is a very professional organization, and they've gone through the drill many times before."
If the deal stays intact, it could be a huge boost for Guava to further delve into high-throughput drug discovery with major pharmaceutical companies by marketing the PCA as an effective secondary screening device.