MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA -- Based on its recent analysis of the digital PCR (dPCR) market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. with the 2014 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for New Product Innovation. Bio-Rad's solution, the Automated Droplet Generator (AutoDG), enables a wide range of high-throughput digital PCR applications by offering walk-away automation, scalability, efficiency, and reproducibility to the dPCR workflow.
To build on its strong product portfolio in PCR and quantitative PCR (qPCR), Bio-Rad acquired Droplet Digital™ PCR (ddPCR™) technology developer QuantaLife in 2011. This acquisition resulted in the commercialization of Bio-Rad's first-generation QX100™ Droplet Digital™ PCR System, which set the industry standard in ease-of-use and provided traditional qPCR users with more precise and accurate quantification of nucleic acids for previously unmet needs in rare event detection, mutation and copy number analyses, and gene expression.
In July 2013, Bio-Rad launched its second-generation ddPCR instrument, the QX200™ Droplet Digital™ PCR System. This instrument enables the use of both EvaGreen and TaqMan hydrolysis probe detection chemistries and was the first digital PCR system to provide such flexibility in experimental design. Both the QX100 and QX200 instruments have aided numerous scientific discoveries in the fields of cancer, liquid biopsy, virology, and other diseases, leading to over 250 peer-reviewed papers since 2011.
"Following the launch of the QX200 System, Bio-Rad extended its dominance of the market by launching the AutoDG, a fast, fully automated, walk-away instrument for generating droplets ready for transfer to the thermal cycler and, subsequently, the droplet reader," said Frost & Sullivan Senior Industry Analyst Christi Bird. "This system has huge implications for high sample throughput applications, such as cancer screening, pathogen detection, clinical diagnostics, environmental monitoring, and food testing."
The AutoDG automates the process of droplet generation, generating droplets for 96 ddPCR reactions in less than 45 minutes, a task that would require manual, hands-on time. Automating the process not only frees up researchers for other laboratory tasks, but eliminates human error and variance in pipetting, leading to more reproducible data. In addition, the scalability delivered by the AutoDG allows four to five QX100 or QX200 Droplet Readers to run continuously for the highest throughput laboratories. It also allows the plate layout to be defined by the user in increments of eight wells in instances in which all wells are not required, providing even more flexibility for various applications and throughput needs.
Bio-Rad developed the AutoDG to be simple and easy to use. The instrument features a large, color touchscreen interface and LED lighting with simple guidance for setup and loading. Oil is required to generate the droplets, and the instrument monitors and displays the oil usage levels on the touchscreen. This takes the guesswork out of reagent replacement and helps the laboratory keep its ddPCR workflow up and running efficiently.
"The AutoDG is a major milestone for Bio-Rad's ddPCR portfolio as it increases the efficiency and utility of Droplet Digital PCR in higher-throughput workflows," states Bird. "Bio-Rad continues to lead the market in breakthroughs to advance dPCR technology, earning the company a reputation for innovation and a market-leading position in the dPCR market."
For its commitment to introducing novel products to meet the wide-ranging needs of the market, Frost & Sullivan presents the 2014 New Product Innovation Award for the Digital PCR Market to Bio-Rad.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to a company that has developed an innovative element in a product by leveraging leading-edge technologies. The award recognizes the value-added features/benefits of the product and the increased ROI it offers customers, which, in turn, increases customer acquisition and overall market penetration potential.
Frost & Sullivan's Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for outstanding achievement in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research.