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Major Mass Spec Vendors Highlight New Offerings at UBS Global Life Sciences Conference

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By Adam Bonislawski

Executives from Agilent, Thermo Fisher, Waters, Bruker, and Danaher presented this week at the UBS Global Life Sciences Conference in New York City.

The companies discussed a number of their recent products, with several highlighting in particular new mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography platforms.

Proteomics is a "key growth area," Danaher CEO Larry Culp told attendees, citing the May launch of AB Sciex's TripleTOF 5600 mass spectrometer as one of the company's primary new offerings in that realm (PM 05/28/2010). The instrument, which Culp noted is about to begin shipping, "has received very strong customer reaction to the sensitivity and the workflow [it] enables," he said.

Gene Cassis, vice president of investor relations at Waters, spotlighted his company's Synapt G2 mass spectrometer, which, like the TripleTOF 5600, allows researchers to perform qualitative and quantitative mass spec workflows on the same machine. The product, which started shipping in the fourth quarter of 2009, "has been a significant growth driver through the first half of this year," he said.

Cassis also discussed Waters' liquid chromatography business, focusing on its Acquity UPLC platform, which has been widely considered the leading UPLC platform for proteomics since its launch in 2004. He noted that the release this February of the Acquity H-Class system was designed to increase the product's penetration in quality-control labs, where, he said, researchers are "somewhat hesitant to incorporate a new technology that involve[s] a new workflow."

The release of the H-Class, which allows labs to use the same column chemistries as in their HPLC workflows, has resulted in "a marked increase in the level of UPLC sales going to quality-control institutions" and an increased interest from "many of the large-cap pharmaceutical companies," he said.

Agilent likewise focused on liquid chromatography at the conference, with Mike McMullen, president of the company's chemical analysis group, citing its expanded 1200 LC line as a "key introduction." The company launched the new line – a portfolio of three machines that are compatible with its existing 1100 and 1200 lines – this June. The portfolio comprises the 1220 Inifinity LC, the 1260 Infinity LC, and an enhanced version of the 1290 Infinity LC, which the company released in April of 2009 (PM 06/25/2010).

McMullen also mentioned the release this May of the company's new 6490 triple quadrupole instrument, which he cited as key to its sales in Asian markets, and an increased emphasis on the company's consumables business – including expanded LC column offerings – which, he said, "was a major strategic driver" for its acquisition of Varian. Agilent completed the Varian acquisition this May (GWDN 05/17/2010).

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