February 13, 2012 at 18:43 PM EST
IRIS International and Fisher HealthCare Sign Distribution Agreement for ThermoBrite Elite(R) Automated Laboratory Assistant in North America
  • ThermoBrite® Elite to be fully launched and commercially available through National Distribution Partner Fisher HealthCare in 1Q 2012
  • ThermoBrite Elite is capable of automating FISH sample preparation, enabling meaningful increases in productivity, standardization and reproducibility

CHATSWORTH, Calif., Feb. 13, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- IRIS International, Inc. (Nasdaq:IRIS), a leading manufacturer of automated in-vitro diagnostics systems and consumables, and a developer of high-value personalized diagnostics tests, today announced that its Sample Processing division has signed an agreement with Fisher HealthCare, part of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE:TMO), as its first commercial distribution partner for the new ThermoBrite Elite instrument for automated FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) sample preparation.

Iris Sample Processing and Fisher HealthCare launched their collaboration at the 2012 Thermo Fisher Scientific Customer Channels National Sales Meeting last week in Las Vegas, and will subsequently actively promote the ThermoBrite Elite platform to their combined customer base. 

"We are enthusiastic about partnering with Fisher HealthCare and expect clinical laboratories will be first movers on this new technology followed shortly by discovery and translational researchers. The level of pre-launch excitement by the market reinforces our belief that this is the right product with the right features at the right time. Our automated ThermoBrite Elite is the natural line extension to the installed base of approximately 5,000 ThermoBrite instruments and will significantly enhance our competitive positioning in the high growth cytogenetic instrumentation market," stated Bill Standwill, VP Global Sales & Marketing for the Iris Sample Processing division.

"The ThermoBrite Elite provides an automated solutions approach for FISH sample preparation in a compact, easy to use system with improved labor efficiencies and process reliability. Expanding our relationship with Fisher HealthCare provides a significant domestic sales channel for the ThermoBrite Elite and our future molecular products in this fast growing market," said Robert Mello, President of the Iris Sample Processing Division.

"We at Fisher HealthCare are excited about our partnership with Iris Sample Processing, and are proud to add the ThermoBrite Elite line to our portfolio of industry leading molecular diagnostics solutions. We are confident that our extensive base of clinical lab customers will immediately recognize the significant value offered by the ThermoBrite Elite," stated Mark Zacur, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Fisher HealthCare.

With the increasing rate of adoption for FISH testing as a standard protocol in cancer diagnostics development and application, laboratories performing as few as 10 tests per day can benefit from this automation. It is estimated that there are approximately 4,000 of these laboratories globally in the clinical and research market that will be targeted.

FISH uses nucleic acid probes, which are segments of labeled DNA that are designed to hybridize or bind to the target DNA of a positive specimen. The probes are labeled with fluorescent or chromogenic molecules to enable the identification of genetic abnormalities, providing valuable information about cancer and other genetic diseases.

About IRIS International, Inc.

IRIS International, Inc. is a leading global in vitro diagnostics company focused on products that analyze particles and living cell forms and structures, or morphology of a variety of body fluids. The Company's products leverage its strengths in flow imaging technology, particle recognition and automation to bring efficiency to hospital and commercial laboratories. The initial applications for its technology have been in the urinalysis market and the Company is the leading worldwide provider of automated urine microscopy and chemistry systems, with an installed base of more than 3,400 systems in more than 50 countries. The Company is expanding its core imaging and morphology expertise into related markets, including applications in hematology and body fluids. In addition, the Company's personalized medicine group has a high complexity CLIA-certified laboratory for the further development and commercialization of the Company's NADiA ultra-sensitive nucleic acid detection immunoassay platform, with applications in oncology and infectious disease. For more information, please visit www.proiris.com.

Safe Harbor Provision

This press release contains forward-looking statements made in reliance upon the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the Company's views on future financial performance, market growth, capital requirements, regulatory developments, new product introductions and acquisitions, and are generally identified by phrases such as "thinks," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "expects," "intends," "plans," and similar words. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are inherently subject to uncertainties and other factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statement. These statements are based upon, among other things, assumptions made by, and information currently available to, management, including management's own knowledge and assessment of the Company's industry, R&D initiatives, competition and capital requirements. Other factors and uncertainties that could affect the Company's forward-looking statements include, among other things, the following: identification of feasible new product initiatives, management of R&D efforts and the resulting successful development of new products and product platforms; obtaining regulatory approvals for new and enhanced products; acceptance by customers of the Company's products; integration of acquired businesses; substantial expansion of international sales; reliance on key suppliers; the potential need for changes in long-term strategy in response to future developments; future advances in diagnostic testing methods and procedures; potential changes in government regulations and healthcare policies, both of which could adversely affect the economics of the diagnostic testing procedures automated by the Company's products; rapid technological change in the microelectronics and software industries; and competitive factors, including pricing pressures and the introduction by others of new products with similar or better functionality than our products. These and other risks are more fully described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, which should be read in conjunction herewith for a further discussion of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

CONTACT: Robert Mello, Corporate Vice President
         President, Iris Sample Processing
         IRIS International, Inc.
         781-619-1626
         
         -or-
         
         Lynn Pieper, Westwicke Partners
         415-202-5678
         lynn.pieper@westwicke.com
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