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Qiagen, Tecan Partner for TB Test Automation

NEW YORK (360Dx) – Qiagen said today that it has signed a non-exclusive partnership deal with Tecan Group to improve the processing of Qiagen's QuantiFeron-TB Gold Plus (QFT-Plus) diagnostic test.

Specifically, the companies are working together to standardize and automate the manual steps in liquid handling for the aliquoting of QFT-Plus samples using Tecan's Fluent laboratory automation workstation and Lithium Heparin single-tube workflow.

QFT-Plus customers will be able to use the Fluent system to significantly reduce hands-on time, making the test easier to run and more consistent and thereby reducing processing errors and variability between runs, Qiagen said.

Tecan's life sciences business will directly supply Fluent systems to laboratories interested in implementing the workflow.

"This automated workflow, which has [the] potential to be rolled out globally, should significantly improve laboratories' economics and ease of use for the QuantiFeron-TB technology, especially in clinical markets that increasingly rely on the single-tube collection version of the test," Thierry Bernard, senior vice president and head of the molecular diagnostics business area for Qiagen, said in a statement.

Qiagen inked a similar deal with Hamilton Robotics last year to leverage that company's Microlab Star automated liquid-handling workstation into the QFT-Plus workflow.

Qiagen also has a partnership with DiaSorin to enable QFT-Plus readout kits to be used on the DiaSorin Liaison family of fully automated analyzers. The workflow has CE marking and is expected to launch in the US in 2019 and China in 2020.