Expanding the range of tests that can be performed on a single system is our priority: the head of a laboratory can thus reduce the number of systems in the lab, while maintaining the volume of tests that can be performed.
Our tests must ensure detection as early as possible and screen for increasingly detailed characteristics in order to contribute to the fastest and best patient care or to avoid the risk of industrial contamination.
Creating new tests
At bioMérieux, our research focuses on tests with high medical or industrial value. Some of our programs are carried out in partnership with internationally renowned hospital, university and industry research teams, including CNRS (French Center for National Scientific Research) and CEA (French Atomic Energy Commission) joint research laboratories.
- Global warming, the ongoing evolution of infectious agents, and increasing population movements have all led to the appearance or fresh outbreaks of certain infectious diseases. New tests must be developed to respond to this situation.
- We create tests that, when associated with a drug already on the market or one under development, allow physicians to offer their patients a personalized diagnostic and clinical approach. bioMérieux is one of the pioneers in this field, called theranostics. Theranostics development includes tests for biomarkers that characterize certain diseases, which are used for the clinical monitoring of patients with cancer, a cardiovascular disease, or an infectious disease.
- Tests allowing quicker batch release (Next Day line).
- New tools to monitor the microbiological production environment for food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.
- New tests based on a revolutionary technique using bacteriophages, which are highly specific viruses that only infect bacteria. Bacteriophages have shown excellent performance in a number of applications, even with the most complex food matrices.
Creating new systems
Miniaturization: our projects aim to integrate new technologies or to miniaturize immunoassays. one of our objectives is to develop smaller, rapid tests for decentralized analyses, for example at the patient’s point of care.
Adaptation: we are also working to adapt tests for detection in different types of samples (including pathogens in the air, water, etc.) and in smaller amounts.
Information technology: our R&D teams are reinforcing connectivity to facilitate the exchange of results (both rapid and real-time) and information between different systems within the same laboratory. They aim to improve software performance and user-friendliness while guaranteeing compliance with constantly changing regulatory demands.
WHAT IS AN IMMUNOASSAY?
Immunoassays enable the identification and quantification of the presence of antigens* and/or antibodies** in a given sample (serum, plasma, blood, etc.). This is based on the immune reaction that occurs when an antibody recognizes a specific antigen in the sample being tested.
It is possible to detect and/or quantify:
- the different types of antigens (viruses, bacteria, parasites, hormones and markers that are specific to certain diseases).
- the response to these antigens through the intermediary of antibodies present in the body. Immunoassays are used by centralized and decentralized laboratories, blood banks, emergency wards and fertility centers in both developed and developing countries. This technique is applied, for example, in the measurement of markers of infectious diseases, sepsis, cardiovascular diseases and cancer; it is also used for industrial microbiological control, in particular to detect bacterial pathogens (Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli 0157:H7, etc.).
* An antigen is a foreign substance in the body, recognized by antibodies or cells from the immune system and capable of triggering an immune response. Antigens are generally proteins, polysaccharides, and their lipid derivatives.
** An antibody is a complex protein secreted by cells from the body’s immune system, able to specially interact with an antigen and maybe neutralize it. Each antibody recognizes a specific antigen.
VIDAS® AND MINI VIDAS®
With more than 26,000 VIDAS® and mini VIDAS® systems, bioMérieux has the second largest installed base of any immunoassay system worldwide. Thanks to the extensive “menu” offered by the VIDAS® system (enabling the analysis of more than 88 different parameters), today it is considered a reference tool for biologists and physicians.
The system and the reagents in the VIDAS® range have long enjoyed an excellent reputation earned by the system’s robustness and the quality of our reagents. The large number of systems installed worldwide facilitates the launch of new parameters on a vast scale, making them rapidly accessible to large numbers of biologists and clinicians. The system’s offer is updated on a regular basis: three new parameters with high medical value were added recently in response to emergency situations in the field of infectious diseases for the management of sepsis, healthcare-associated infections and cardiovascular diseases.