Gen-Probe Inc’s PANTHER system, a fully automated and integrated molecular testing system designed with the flexibility to handle a wide range of testing needs, has been CE-marked and is available for sale in Europe.

"After three and a half years of active development, launching our PANTHER system in Europe a month ahead of schedule is a significant milestone in Gen-Probe’s history and a testament to the scores of talented and dedicated employees who made it happen," said Carl Hull, Gen-Probe’s president and chief executive officer. "We believe the PANTHER system will revolutionize molecular diagnostics by offering customers high levels of productivity and instrument flexibility that were once reserved for high-throughput clinical chemistry and immunoassay systems."

Features of the PANTHER system include:

  • Fully integrated "sample-in, result-out" automation; a single operator can process 275 samples in eight hours on the PANTHER system. Hands-on time is less than an hour, yielding seven hours of walk-away freedom. For larger customers, the PANTHER system can continue running unattended, processing 500 samples in 12 hours.
  • Primary tube sampling with random access loading for maximum flexibility and productivity; multiple assays can be run from a single sample, and operators have continuous access to samples, reagents, and consumables.
  • A customer-driven design, intuitive software for ease of use, and remote diagnostics capabilities
  • Extensive process controls that include positive sample identification, liquid level detection, reagent dispense verification, and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags on fluid containers
  • A small footprint with a width of 122 cm, a depth of 81.5 cm, and a height of 175 cm

In Europe, the PANTHER system can initially be used to perform Gen-Probe’s nucleic acid tests for the common sexually transmitted infections Chlamydia and gonorrhea. These include the APTIMA Combo 2, APTIMA CT (Chlamydia) and APTIMA GC (gonorrhea) assays. Several other qualitative and quantitative assays are in development.

The PANTHER system builds on the success of Gen-Probe’s TIGRIS instrument, which was the first fully automated, high-throughput molecular testing system for large laboratories. Since its launch in 2004, more than 500 TIGRIS systems have been installed at clinical diagnostic and blood screening laboratories around the world.

Source: Gen-Probe Inc