Beckman Coulter launches antigen test for large populations
Diagnostics firm Beckman Coulter has launched a new Covid-19 antibody test that trials have found to have 98.9% sensitivity.
The Access SARS-CoV-2 IgG II test quantitatively measures a in response to a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. Determining a quantitative baseline to evaluate someone’s immune response to the virus allows clinicians to assess changes in their immune response over time. Researchers also hope the test will help them understand the levels of antibodies needed to develop immunity from Covid-19.
The test is the latest addition to Beckman Coulter’s suite of testing solutions designed to help clinicians in the fight against Covid-19. Beckman Coulter also recently launched an automated SARS-CoV-2 antigen test in the US under the FDA’s emergency use authorization (EUA) programme.
While several point of care (POC) antigen tests are now available to help increase testing, there are challenges to rolling these out to large patient populations. Beckman Coulter’s test has been designed so that it can easily be delivered in large numbers. The firm say they can deliver up to 25 million tests per month, with sample collection and processing, enabling test providers to leverage their existing infrastructure and workflows.
The test results are delivered on Beckman Coulter’s analysers, which are capable of processing up to 200 samples an hour.
“Having a clearer picture of the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 plays an important role in the fight against COVID-19, especially before a vaccine is widely available” Shamiram R. Feinglass, MD, MPH, chief medical officer at Beckman Coulter said.
“Determining a quantifiable baseline is a critical step towards furthering the understanding of the adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV-2 in individuals over time.”
The test is set to become available in countries accepting the CE Mark and will begin shipping to European diagnostics labs.
Bachem turns 50 - a timeline
Bachem, a supplier to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month. We take a look at the Swiss company's history.
1971 - beginnings
Bachem is founded by entrepreneur Peter Grogg in Liestal, a small town near Basel in Switzerland. Grogg started the firm with just two employees, and with a focus on peptide synthesis - peptides are composed of amino acids that have a variety of functions treating health conditions such as cancer and diabetes.
1977 - 1981 - early growth
Bachem moves its headquarters to the Swiss town of Bubendorf, with eight employees. In 1978 the company produces peptides for use in medicines for the first time. In 1981 production capacity triples and the workforce grows to 150.
1987 - 1996 - worldwide expansion
The company expands into the US with Bachem Bioscience, Inc. in Philadelphia. To strengthen its presence in Europe, Bachem opens sales and marketing centres in Germany in 1988.
Further sales centres open in France in 1993. By 1995 the company employs 190 people. In 1996 it acquires the second largest manufacturer of peptides in the world and forms Bachem California with a site in Torrance.
1998 - 2003 - Bachem goes public
Bachem company goes public and lists shares on the Swiss Stock Exchange. Further acquisitions include Peninsula Laboratories, Inc, based in California, and Sochinaz SA, a Swiss-based manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients. By 2001, the company has 500 employees and sales reach 141 million CHF.
In 2003 the organisation is given a new legal holding structure to support its continued growth, which remains in place to this day.
2007 - 2013 - acquisitions
Bachem acquires a brand by Merck Biosciences for ready-to-use clinical trial materials and related services.
In 2013, together with GlyTech, Inc. Bachem announces the development of a new amino acid that can help to treat multiple sclerosis, with a world market of more than $4 billion.
In 2015 it acquires the American Peptide Company (APC), which becomes integrated into Bachem Americas.
2016 - 2019 - a global leader
In 2016 the group opens a new building dedicated to R&D projects and small series production in Bubendorf. With a total of 1,022 employees, the workforce exceeds the 1,000 mark for the first time in the company’s history. Sales are over the 200 million mark for the first time at 236.5 million CHF.
Bachem expands into Asia with the establishment of a new company in Tokyo called Bachem Japan K.K.
By 2019 Bachem has a growing oligonucleotide portfolio - these are DNA molecules used in genetic testing, research, and forensics. It is hoped this will become a significant product range in the future.
2020 - COVID-19
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Bachem secures its supply of active ingredients, and even increases it in critical areas. Sales exceed the 400 million Swiss franc mark for the first time, and 272 new employees are hired.
2021 - a milestone anniversary
Bachem celebrates its 50th anniversary and position as a global leader in the manufacture of peptides. While it remains headquartered in Bubendorf, the company employs 1,500 people at six locations worldwide. In the next five years there are plans to continue expanding.
Commemorating the company's anniversary, Kuno Sommer, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said: "Bachem's exceptional success story from a small laboratory to a global market leader is closely linked to Peter Grogg's values, and has been shaped by innovation, consistent quality and cost awareness, as well as by entrepreneurial vision."