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Tecan to Manufacture Enigma Diagnostics' Instruments

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (Genomeweb News) – Tecan will manufacture Enigma Diagnostics' ML instruments under an initial five-year contract, the firms announced today.

Enigma intends to launch the new instruments, which are point-of-care molecular diagnostic systems, in the fourth quarter of this year. Its initial use will be for identifying specific influenza virus strains, subject to successful clinical trials and regulatory approval, the firms said. The Oxford, UK-based firm also intends to develop tests for infectious disease management.

Tecan will industrialize and deliver the ML instruments for Enigma's global market supplies under the deal. Demonstration instruments have already been delivered to GlaxoSmithKline, which teamed up with Enigma last year to develop and market point-of-care influenza tests to run on the ML.

The ML is a fully-automated system that can provide results in less than 60 minutes at the point of care. The firm also said that the system will not require specialist training to operate.

John McKinley, chairman and CEO of Enigma, called the agreement a milestone for the firm. "This represents the first of a number of potential additional agreements relating to Tecan's support of the Enigma ML system," he said in a statement.

"We are highly committed to contributing to the success of the wide range of potential applications and tests the ML instrument platform offers with our experience in manufacturing and servicing high quality and regulatory compliant diagnostic products," Thomas Bachmann, CEO of Mannedorf, Switzerland-based Tecan, said in the statement. "The dedicated and modular ML instrument marks a breakthrough in point-of-care molecular diagnostics."

Financial and further terms of the alliance were not disclosed.

Enigma recently opened its US operations in San Diego. The startup currently has a little more than 40 employees in the UK and US and plans to expand its operations and regulatory staff over the coming months, McKinley told GenomeWeb Daily News at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference last month.

He also said that the firm is evaluating its options for sales and marketing, and whether it would partner on this front or go it alone.

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