Lots of products involving molecular diagnostics and genetic testing were on display at the exhibition
DATELINE: Atlanta, Georgia—Yesterday was the close of the 2011 annual meeting of the American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC). Organizers played host to what—pre-event—they announced was a record-breaking number of exhibit booths sold to vendors at the exhibition. Despite a rather quiet economy, there was plenty of traffic and much interest in products on display in the clinical laboratory.
Many lab industry vendors believe that there is pent-up demand by medical laboratories because of the long recession in 2008 and 2009, combined with the clamp-down on laboratory spending that resulted as hospitals and health systems slashed budgets during the recession to protect their cash flows. But now, having deferred equipment replacement for up to three full years, a number of clinical pathology laboratories have returned to the marketplace to acquire new medical laboratory testing equipment.
Plenty of In Vitro Diagnostics Products Shown During the AACC Exhibition
There were new in vitro diagnostics (IVD) companies with unfamiliar names showing products this year. As well, it seemed that a larger number of vendors were showing laboratory analyzers, automation equipment, and newly-developed lab testing systems this year. Some of these smaller IVD companies had relatively large booths and displayed anywhere from three to 10 different types of analyzers. This is a sign that advances in manufacturing technology are making it easier for smaller companies to develop viable products for use in medical laboratories.
Honors for the most spectacular new product launch must go to Cepheid Systems. Because of advanced mailings to AACC attendees, and a clever marketing campaign, Cepheid attracted a big crowd at its booth on Tuesday morning as the exhibition opened. They were there to greet celebrity motorcycle designer Paul Teutul, Jr., and his team as they pulled the curtain away from their creation—a chopper themed around Cepheid’s GeneXpert Systems and molecular diagnostic testing.
Then the spotlight immediately turned to the unveiling of Cepheid’s new GeneXpert Infinity-80 system, which generated more enthusiasm. Cepheid says this system is “designed to purify, concentrate, detect and identify targeted nucleic acid sequences from unprocessed samples.”
Some Dark Daily readers may be familiar with Paul Teutul, Jr., of Paul Jr. Designs. He appears on the reality show “American Chopper,” which airs on the Discovery Channel. Cepheid’s marketing campaign with this custom motorcycle will continue into the future. “American Chopper” will broadcast a two-part show on the design and manufacture of Cepheid’s chopper. The shows will air in the fourth quarter, possibly as early as October.
Because the television broadcast of the two-part show is the next major phase of this unique marketing campaign, Dark Daily cannot show you a photograph of the Cepheid Chopper until the show airs. But, in the photo above, you can see how Cepheid is using Paul Teutul, Jr.’s image, against the backdrop of its new GeneXpert Infinity-80 system. Cepheid states that “the GeneXpert Infinity-80 is expected to be available to the European market in the fourth quarter of this year, and to the U.S. market in the first half of 2012.”
Across the three days of the exhibition, and the five days of scientific sessions, the joint meeting of the AACC and the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) presented a wide variety of topics. Advances in molecular technologies and genetic testing were well-covered. In fact, the number of lectures and sessions organized around the topic of molecular diagnostics and genetic testing during this year’s conference in Atlanta demonstrates how swiftly the field of clinical chemistry is adopting and using these technologies.
Your Dark Daily Editor,
Robert L. Michel