Company News

Copan Installs Milestone 30th Walk-Away Specimen Processor (WASP<sup>®</sup>)

June 3, 2010

Murrieta, CA – June 3rd, 2010 – Copan is proud to announce the 30th placement of a Walk-Away Specimen Processor (WASP®), at Eastern Health, Newfoundland, in Canada. The WASP® is a revolutionary instrument used for automatically planting and streaking bacteriology samples. So far, WASP® processors have been successfully installed, with favorable reviews, throughout North America and Europe, including the United States, Canada, Belgium, Italy, UK, Holland, and France, among others.

Since its recent entrance in the field of automated specimen processing, Copan’s WASP® has been rapidly gaining ground, providing customers with a robust alternative for everyday challenges of specimen processing in the Microbiology laboratory in a time of increasing workloads and diminishing resources. “The WASP® has been a great addition to our laboratory, allowing us to reduce labor while improving quality. Results obtained with the WASP® are more reproducible than results obtained by manual planting and produce far fewer labeling errors.

The WASP® also facilitates the movement to liquid-based transport systems, such as the Copan ESwab, by standardizing and automating the specimen planting process,” stated Dr. Paul Bourbeau, Director of Microbiology Laboratories at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA, home of the first beta site for the WASP®.

Dr. Bart Gordts, Medical Director of the Clinical Biology Laboratory at Az Sint-Jan Medical Center in Bruges, Belgium, says that in the past 10 years his laboratory has invested heavily in automation, standardization, and shifting to a paperless system. However, automation in Microbiology had been a challenge and a solution was needed in the pre-analytical phase of microbiology. “When we first saw the WASP®, we were very enthusiastic because we could immediately see that automation and standardization of the inoculation of Microbiology samples was finally possible.” This was the last area in the laboratory which was still manual and susceptible to transcriptional and transposition errors according to Dr. Gordts. “Our laboratory technicians were very excited about the addition andin less than 2 months after acquiring the WASP®, we were able to introduce additional screening techniques that, without it, we would have been unable to accommodate,” Dr. Gordts adds.

Dr. Giovanni Gesu, Director of Microbiology and Virology at Hospital Niguarda in Milan, Italy agrees that the WASP® “solves a major challenge in Bacteriology and specimen reception.” Dr. Gesu adds that after implementing the WASP®, he has been able to free-up his skilled staff from laborious specimen processing allowing the “retraining of 14 laboratory technicians in molecular biology techniques and 7 in Serology, which has provided greater flexibility to rotate and deploy precious resources as demand dictates.”

The rapid adoption of the WASP® is largely due to its ease of use, robustness, flexibility, and consistency. “In the end, we are all looking to improve patient outcome, in a timely fashion, with quality and safety always in the forefront. The WASP® is doing all of this for us,” concludes Kathy Roman, Manager of the Microbiology laboratory at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, OH.

About Copan Group

With a reputation for innovation in preanalytics, Copan is the leading manufacturer of collection and transport systems in the world. Copan offers a complete range of microbial sampling products used for traditional culture analysis and molecular diagnostic assays. For more information, visit