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Beckman Coulter, BioMedical Diagnostics, Cepheid

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Beckman Coulter released the Agencourt FormaPure system for DNA and RNA extraction from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue samples this week. The product can be automated on the company's Biomek NX Span-8 laboratory automation workstation, which can process 96 samples in about four hours, and including the paraffin digestion step, with "significantly higher" yields than other methods, Beckman Coulter said. The FormaPure system uses paramagnetic bead-based nucleic acid purification, and does not require organic solvents, vacuum filtration or centrifugation steps.


BioMedical Diagnostics this week launched three new kits of its Fidis line: two for Epstein Barr virus, which causes infectious mononucleosis; and a third for predisposition to cardiovascular disease. The EBV G and EBV M kits are designed to detect the presence of G and M antibodies against the Epstein Barr virus, while the APO E test detects apoliprotein E4, which is an indicator of heart failure risk when it is associated with a high level of LDL cholesterol.


Cepheid last week released its CE Marked Smart GBS in vitro device in Europe for rapid detection of group B streptococcus in antepartum and intrapartum women. The system runs on Cepheid's SmartCycler platform, and is the seventh test planned for 2006 release, the company said in a statement. SmartCycler's automated amplification and detection can produce "highly accurate and consistent test results from prepared biological samples in approximately 30-60 minutes," the company said.

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