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Published:March 21st, 2012 11:46 EST

IRIS International Starts Commercial Shipment of ThermoBrite(R) Elite

By SOP newswire

IRIS International, Inc. (Nasdaq: IRIS), a leading manufacturer of automated in-vitro diagnostics systems and consumables, and a developer of high-value personalized diagnostics tests, today announced that its Sample Processing division has initiated commercial shipments of its ThermoBrite Elite Automated Laboratory Assistant instrument for FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) slide preparation.

Iris Sample Processing has signed three distribution agreements since the beginning of 2012 for the ThermoBrite Elite, and the first commercial shipment to KREATECH Diagnostics marks the commencement of the product launch.

"KREATECH has been a valued ThermoBrite distributor for Iris Sample Processing for several years and will now sell the ThermoBrite Elite, which fits in well with its `end-user solution` approach. This automated instrument is an effective enabling platform for FISH sample preparation, providing valuable standardization and reproducibility in a bench top system along with improved labor efficiencies and process reliability," stated Robert Mello, President of Iris Sample Processing.

"A standardized solution for our established and growing DNA FISH customer base in Europe and North America will most definitely be of significant value. As a dedicated DNA FISH player, we can offer a unique bundled solution of the ThermoBrite Elite combined with KREATECH DNA FISH probes. At the same time, it underscores the long term relationship we have with Iris Sample Processing as a reliable supplier of quality instruments," stated Kees Moonen, CEO of KREATECH Diagnostics.

"We are optimistic that the ThermoBrite Elite will be well received in the marketplace, considering the positive feedback from independent evaluations and the high interest expressed by our distributors and potential partners. As a result of this important product launch, we expect to achieve double-digit growth in the Sample Processing division in 2012," stated Cesar M. García, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of IRIS International.

Mr. García continued, "The ThermoBrite Elite automates highly time-consuming and varied protocols for FISH testing and reduces technologist`s labor by at least 50%. Over the next three years, we expect to release a family of products based on this design platform targeting 4,000 laboratories. This translates into an addressable market opportunity of at least $150 million."

The worldwide market for FISH testing continues to steadily grow, with the majority of sample preparation still being performed using a manual method. With the increasing rate of adoption for FISH testing as a standard protocol in cancer diagnostics development and application, laboratories performing as few as 10 tests per day can benefit from this automation.

FISH uses nucleic acid probes, which are segments of labeled DNA that are designed to hybridize or bind to the target DNA of a positive specimen. The probes are labeled with fluorescent or chromogenic molecules to enable the identification of genetic abnormalities, providing valuable information about cancer and other genetic diseases.

IRIS International, Inc. is a leading global in vitro diagnostics company focused on products that analyze particles and living cell forms and structures, or morphology of a variety of body fluids. The Company`s products leverage its strengths in flow imaging technology, particle recognition and automation to bring efficiency to hospital and commercial laboratories. The initial applications for its technology have been in the urinalysis market and the Company is the leading worldwide provider of automated urine microscopy and chemistry systems, with an installed base of more than 3,600 systems in more than 50 countries. The Company is expanding its core imaging and morphology expertise into related markets, including applications in hematology and body fluids. In addition, the Company`s personalized medicine group has a high complexity CLIA-certified laboratory for the further development and commercialization of the Company`s NADiA ultra-sensitive nucleic acid detection immunoassay platform, with applications in oncology and infectious disease. For more information, please visit