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Beckman Coulter Expects 2011 Launch for MDx System

This article has been updated from a previous version, which incorrectly stated that the firm would use content from GeneOhm Sciences with the system.

SAN FRANCISCO (GenomeWeb News) – Beckman Coulter expects to launch its new molecular diagnostics platform in 2011 instead of its initial target of 2010, Chairman, President, and CEO Scott Garrett said today at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference held here.

Garrett told investors that a prototype of the fully automated, sample-to-result system, called the UniCel DxN, has been completed. The firm expects to continue developing assays for the system and to seek regulatory approval starting in 2010, with a full commercial launch scheduled for 2011.

The firm had been targeting a 2010 launch date as of the end of 2007. However, Garrett said today that although it is important to get to the market quickly with the system, it is more important that Beckman Coulter "establish a state-of-the-art system for hospitals."

The initial menu for the DxN system will focus on infectious diseases. It also will gain content from collaborations with academic partners, such as Johns Hopkins University and the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Garrett reiterated previous comments that the initial focus on infectious diseases will be followed by tests for cancer and genetic diseases. He said that the firm is likely to have a "handful" of assays available for the DxN at the time of launch.

The system will have as many as 20 tests on board, he said, and will offer results in about an hour. The DxN will be capable of running around 200 tests over an 8-hour shift.

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