Roche Announces Two Breakthroughs in Technology

Increased Accuracy in Testing Allows for Better Treatment Decisions

Roche Molecular Systems announced two recent breakthroughs that highlight why the company remains the world leader in molecular diagnostic testing.

Roche unveiled its new FLOW System for laboratory-designed testing and, in separate news, introduced an improved test to diagnose chlamydia and gonorrhea.

"Most of our current business is essentially in vitro (lab) diagnostics," said Bob Purcell, Roche Molecular Systems' vice president of corporate communications. "It's the materials doctors and labs use to diagnose people with diseases. It's taking samples and testing them."

The new FLOW System expands Roche Molecular Systems' market to include service for lab-designed testing, Purcell explained.

"Long story short, the FLOW System is a key piece of comprehensive offering that allows Roche Molecular Systems to take part in the entire spectrum of molecular diagnostic testing," he said. "It's an important step for us to go beyond our traditional in vitro diagnosis-based markets."

The new system has been launched in Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and Latin America. It is pending approval in the United States and elsewhere in the world.

The FLOW System allows labs to use Roche equipment with new software to better automate the process of molecular diagnostic testing, Purcell said.

"Labs can push through a greater number of tests in a shorter amount of time," he said. "If you have better automation, you're going to get the results quicker, and you're going to have more confidence that the results are accurate."

If you take that down to the patient level, he said, "it's probably a greater sense of confidence that the results they're getting are accurate, more timely and will lead to a better course of action with their doctor as to what their treatment will be."

"The goal of diagnostics," Purcell noted, "is to better inform physicians so that they can make the right treatment decisions for their patients."

The new team that launched the FLOW System will bring dozens of new employees to Roche's offices in Hacienda. The new jobs will run the gamut from research and development to marketing and business.

"Definitely the launch of FLOW allows the folks in Pleasanton, including the new team, able to work in new parts of molecular testing," Purcell said.

Roche also announced its new diagnostic test for chlamydia and gonorrhea to better diagnosis those diseases and to better compete with existing tests already on the market.

"The new FDA clearance gives us a comprehensive test to take to the market," Purcell said.

Roche's previous tests used a narrow range of specimens, such as tissue samples, for diagnosis. The new version can use a far broader range of specimens.

The improved product provides more timely and accurate testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea, the two most common forms of sexually transmitted diseases. It can be used for patients whether or not they are exhibiting symptoms of either disease.

The new test is run on a system already available in labs, meaning it can help reduce lab costs, improve turnaround time and allow staff time to work on other critical tasks.

Roche, based in Switzerland, is the world's largest biotech company and the world leader in diagnostics. For more information, please visit or

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