bioMérieux, Durham, NC, which specializes in the field of in vitro diagnostics, has spent millions in recent years upgrading its Durham facility as demand for medical testing equipment increases.

The company recently announced an 8.4% rise in sales in North America during the first nine months of 2007, noting growth in the bacteriological lines. Sales rose for BacT/Alert blood culture bottles, which are used in hospital labs and blood banks.

Since 2003, the company has invested more than $10 million in facility improvements to support growing demand, enhance quality control, and improve compliance with federal regulations. Among the facility upgrades are a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system; environmental controls; a more efficient water system; automated inspection systems; new reagent fillers and cappers; and an additional autoclave for sterilization

Hospital infection rates have been on the rise, accounting for an estimated 1.7 million infections and 99,000 associated deaths each year.
The company—which is present in more than 150 countries through 35 subsidiaries and a large network of distributors—also has plans to expand the production line at the Durham site.