In a bid to meet growing international demand for its leading liquid handling quality assurance products and services, Artel is expanding into Germany, Switzerland and Austria, where it will begin offering direct sales and distribution of its MVS (Multichannel Verification System) and PCS (Pipette Calibration System). Starting this spring, laboratories across a wide range of disciplines, from drug discovery to forensic and clinical, will have direct access to an Artel representative based near Freiburg, Germany. In addition, Artel will provide technical support and training to help laboratories optimize their pipetting and automated liquid handling operations, and improve data quality.
Artel’s entry into Germany comes at an exciting time thanks to the European Commission’s Framework 7 (FP7) program, which launched in 2008 to benefit European life science funding. Under the program, EU member states have committed to increase their R&D spending from the current two percent of their GDP to three percent in 2010. “Germany, Switzerland and Austria are important life science hubs that will play significant roles in industry advances,” said Kirby Pilcher, President, Artel. “As the EU continues to promote research, innovation and entrepreneurship in its member states, Artel’s liquid handling quality assurance can help client laboratories produce standardized results across the entire region and, in fact, in their operations worldwide.”
Indeed, as globalization and outsourcing trends continue, Artel’s commitment to liquid handling standardization is becoming ever more relevant. Laboratories can use the MVS or PCS to ensure one microliter in Boston is the same as one microliter in Frankfurt. Additionally, the considerable time saved by standardizing quality control with Artel’s technologies can be redirected toward cutting-edge R&D.
To establish a strong foothold in the territory, Artel is leveraging the expertise of Stefan Schork, Ph.D., the former vice president of sales for IonGate Biosciences GmbH. “Stefan has years of experience in sales management, and in solving customer technical challenges in the biotechnology industry, with a focus on laboratory automation, liquid handling and reagents for basic, life sciences and industrial research,” said Pilcher.
Although Germany, Switzerland and Austria mark the first European markets that will have access to direct sales from Artel, the company’s global reach has grown at a fast clip over the past decade thanks to existing arrangements with national distributors in a number of countries. These include TechnoPath (UK and Ireland), Analis S.A. (Benelux), Najma Burgan General Trading (Kuwait), Biolab (Denmark), Biomedia SPD Scientific (Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand), Elitech France, Kitvia (France), Dade Behring South Africa (South Africa), UNIFLEX (Japan and South Korea), AB Ninolab (Sweden), and Prisma Biotech Corp. (Taiwan). Artel also has an established presence in Montréal, Canada.
“Regardless of geography, the importance of accuracy and precision in the lab is universal,” said Schork. “In the U.S., the Artel MVS and PCS are already well-known for their effectiveness and have become the industry standard for liquid handling quality assurance. With the German-speaking region’s ongoing focus on innovation in the life sciences, the timing is perfect for Artel to highlight the benefits of standardization.”
Both the Artel MVS and PCS are based on ratiometric photometry, which measures light absorption by two specially formulated dyes to verify delivered volumes. The MVS simultaneously assesses the precision (repeatability of volume transfer) and accuracy (closeness of transferred volume to target volume) of each tip of an automated liquid handler at volumes as low as 10 nL.
The Artel PCS automatically measures and documents the accuracy and precision of volumes dispensed from handheld pipettes. Portable and robust, the PCS can be used on the bench to calibrate pipettes in minutes. By offering objective visual display and hard copy (or digitized) recording of volumetric results, the PCS provides operators with immediate automatic feedback on their liquid delivery performance. Both systems deliver results traceable to international standards including NIST, ensuring not only compliance, but also accurate and precise method transfer.
Date: May 10, 2010