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Live From AACC: The American Assoc of Clinical Chemistry Meeting Kicks Off

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The American Association for Clinical Chemistry kicked off today at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Clinical chemistry seems to mean precisely that this year. Manufacturers once focused on beefing up the laboratory and its capabilities are now focusing on moving things to the bedside. 

The American Association for Clinical Chemistry kicked off today at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Clinical chemistry seems to mean precisely that this year. Manufacturers once focused on beefing up the laboratory and its capabilities are now focusing on moving things to the bedside. 

 
In press announcements today, Instrumentation Laboratory, one of the largest manufacturers of in vitro diagnostic instruments, announced that it will “take Hemostasis direct to customers” by dissolving a 20-year strategic alliance with Beckman-Coulter and manage its own sales, service, and support functions, according to Brian Durkin, VP of commercial operations for North America. The plan was initially announced May 7th, giving the company a tight window to make the transition. IL added 14 Hemostasis experts, 28 technical personnel and eight data experts to assure customers a smooth switch. “We’ve had a direct sales force for 50 years,” said Durkin. “We wanted to assure that our field service capabilities could keep up. We believe bringing Hemostasis direct to the customers will make us more responsive, and allow us to bring innovations to the market more quickly.”
 
Life Technologies, a molecular diagnostics firm, announced its acquisition of Navigenics, which develops and  commercializes genetics-based products and services focused on improving patient health. “The company is at the forefront of making genetic information actionable for physicians to improve diagnosis, disease monitoring and medication response. Life Technologies announces the acquisition as a first step in building its molecular diagnostics business through internal development and select acquisition of outside companies. “We got the company for a good price, and their labs are licensed in all 50 states,” said Ronnie Andrews, president of medical services. “Navigenics will allow us to go beyond research and testing into applied markets. The company will look to focus new advances on lung, ovarian and prostate cancers.”
 
Abbott Technologies features a huge display of its robotic testing equipment. “The majority of the lab technologist employee pool is over age 50,” said Matthew Weinstein, director of commercial operations. “Robotics can save non-productive staff time by eliminating manual, assembly-line type tasks such as inserting test tubes into racks for sorting. One module of their “OneLab,” a new web-based, integrated lab informatics system, can be connected to work with literally thousands of additional functional modules, one of which picks up test tubes that are unracked and unsorted, and sends them off for processing. This system, not yet available in the U.S., will be forthcoming in coming months.
 
Abbott is also introducing the Architect HbA1c assay. This form of hemoglobin is used not to take a snapshot of glucose levels, but to monitor long-term diabetes control. The Architect is fully automated, designed to help laboratories deal with the increase in demand for diabetes testing. It provides results in 36 minutes. The company’s i-STAT hand-held blood analyzer is designed to help hospitals better manage their bedside care. “The device downloads information for accurate recording and offers the most comprehensive panel of bedside tests on a single platform,” said Weinstein. It even tells the operator when their recertification is due!
 
The show is featuring many technical presentations, poster sessions, and private “Brown Bag” sessions for association members only.  
 
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