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bioMérieux VIRTUO™, the New Generation of Blood Culture System, Is CE-Marked

bioMérieux, a world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics, announces that VIRTUO(TM), the new generation of BacT/ALERT(R) , has been CE-marked. This uniquely innovative automated blood culture microbial detection system further enriches the offering of the BacT/ALERT(R) product range and is now commercially available in targeted countries that recognize CE marking. The enhanced performance of the system will help laboratories provide rapid results to clinicians to help maximize laboratory efficiency and facilitate better patient outcomes.

VIRTUO(TM) is the first continuously monitoring blood culture microbial detection system to offer "set and forget" loading, allowing personnel with any skill level to load the instrument any time throughout the day and night, thus enabling even more rapid results and improved patient care. With VIRTUO(TM), laboratories minimize hands-on time and maximize laboratory efficiency: when bottles are placed on the conveyor belt of the motion-activated loading bay, the conveyor belt feeds bottles via a carousel into a smart scanning station where the bottle barcodes are read and an image of the labels is captured. The system uses precision robotics to load all bottles into available cells for incubation and determination of a blood stream infection. Following a five-day protocol, negative bottles are automatically discarded into a waste bin.

VIRTUO(TM) offers a faster time to detection versus the current BacT/ALERT(R) due to the inclusion of high fidelity optics and a new detection algorithm which has shown faster detection times on average four hours earlier compared to the BacT/ALERT(R) 3D. This reduction in time to detection facilitates the ability to positively impact patient care.

In line with ever increasing accreditation standards, the new target VIRTUO(TM) system, along with new reagent labeling, enables features to automatically track lot numbers, check for expired bottles and measure the sample volume to help ensure compliance with the collection of the recommended blood volume of 10ml per bottle.

This next generation BacT/ALERT(R) system utilizes proven blood culture reagent bottles for increased recovery of organisms associated with blood stream infections. Currently included in the BacT/ALERT(R) media portfolio are the standard, charcoal based FAN and the new FAN Plus bottles, which use proprietary Adsorbent Polymeric Beads (APB).

"True to bioMérieux's pioneer spirit, VIRTUO(TM) is a highly differentiated solution. It seamlessly integrates the blood culture workflow in order to help laboratories provide efficient and actionable results to the clinicians thus enabling the early introduction of an appropriate antibiotic therapy for achieving a better clinical outcome of septic patients", said Alexandre Mérieux, bioMérieux CEO. "For over 50 years, bioMérieux has developed world-renowned expertise in the fields of infectious diseases and microbiology thanks to major innovations in the areas of pathogen detection, identification, antibiotic susceptibility testing and blood culture, which have led to more rapid and more accurate diagnostics. Rapid detection and identification of microorganisms by clinical microbiology laboratories is of crucial importance for optimal patient treatment, especially in serious infections such as blood stream infections which may progress to severe sepsis."

BacT/ALERT(R) has a large installed base of automated blood culture systems in every region in the world. The BacT/ALERT(R) range of systems makes it possible to meet the needs of all sizes of laboratories due to the flexibility and scalability of the instrument portfolio. The VIRTUO(TM) launch will initially be focused on current customers as bioMérieux's number one priority until the Company comes back to a satisfactory level of bottle media supply.

The combination of substantial operational and capital investments in the Durham (N.C., United States) facility for bottle media production and the launch of this new VIRTUO(TM) instrument demonstrates bioMérieux's commitment to blood culture and the rapid reliable diagnosis of sepsis.

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