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Gen-Probe Launches PANTHER™ System, Fully Automated and Integrated Molecular Testing Instrument, in Europe
Nov 30, 2010 (03:11 PM EST)


System Offers Revolutionary Productivity and Flexibility for Laboratories

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 30, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Gen-Probe Incorporated (Nasdaq: GPRO) announced today that the Company's PANTHER™ system, a fully automated and integrated molecular testing system designed with the flexibility to handle a wide range of testing needs, has been CE-marked and is available for sale in Europe.

"After three and a half years of active development, launching our PANTHER system in Europe a month ahead of schedule is a significant milestone in Gen-Probe's history and a testament to the scores of talented and dedicated employees who made it happen," said Carl Hull, Gen-Probe's president and chief executive officer.  "We believe the PANTHER system will revolutionize molecular diagnostics by offering customers high levels of productivity and instrument flexibility that were once reserved for high-throughput clinical chemistry and immunoassay systems."

Key features of the PANTHER system include:

  • Fully integrated "sample-in, result-out" automation.  A single operator can process 275 samples in eight hours on the PANTHER system.  Hands-on time is less than an hour, yielding seven hours of walk-away freedom.  For larger customers, the PANTHER system can continue running unattended, processing 500 samples in 12 hours.
  • Primary tube sampling with random access loading for maximum flexibility and productivity.  Multiple assays can be run from a single sample, and operators have continuous access to samples, reagents and consumables.
  • A customer-driven design, intuitive software for ease of use, and remote diagnostics capabilities.
  • Extensive process controls that include positive sample identification, liquid level detection, reagent dispense verification, and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags on fluid containers.
  • A small footprint with a width of 122 cm, a depth of 81.5 cm, and a height of 175 cm.

In Europe, the PANTHER system can initially be used to perform Gen-Probe's nucleic acid tests for the common sexually transmitted infections Chlamydia and gonorrhea.  These include the APTIMA Combo 2®, APTIMA® CT (Chlamydia) and APTIMA GC (gonorrhea) assays.  Several other qualitative and quantitative assays are in development.

The PANTHER system builds on the success of Gen-Probe's TIGRIS® instrument, which was the first fully automated, high-throughput molecular testing system for large laboratories.  Since its launch in 2004, more than 500 TIGRIS systems have been installed at clinical diagnostic and blood screening laboratories around the world.

The PANTHER system is CE-marked for sale in the European Union, but has not been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration and is not commercially available in the United States.  For more information on the PANTHER system and available assays, European laboratories can contact Gen-Probe customer service in Wiesbaden, Germany, at +49 6122 7076451, or customerservice@gen-probe.eu.

About Gen-Probe

Gen-Probe Incorporated is a global leader in the development, manufacture and marketing of rapid, accurate and cost-effective molecular diagnostic products and services that are used primarily to diagnose human diseases, screen donated human blood, and ensure transplant compatibility.  Gen-Probe has approximately 27 years of expertise in nucleic acid testing (NAT), and received the 2004 National Medal of Technology, America's highest honor for technological innovation, for developing NAT assays for blood screening. Gen-Probe is headquartered in San Diego and employs approximately 1,300 people. For more information, go to www.gen-probe.com.

Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Any statements in this news release about our expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance are forward-looking statements.  These statements are often made through the use of words or phrases such as believe, will, expect, anticipate, estimate, intend, plan and would.  For example, statements concerning possible or expected results of operations, regulatory approvals, future sales, growth opportunities, and plans of management are all forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance.  They involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions that may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied.  Some of these risks include: (i) the risk that the PANTHER system will not be cleared for marketing in the United States; (ii) the risk that other assays will not be approved for use on the PANTHER system; (iii) the possibility that the market for the sale of our PANTHER system or other new products  may not develop as expected; (iv) the risk that our intellectual property surrounding the PANTHER system will be invalidated; and (v) the risk that we may not be able to compete effectively.  This list includes some, but not all, of the factors that could affect our ability to achieve results described in any forward-looking statements.  For additional information about risks and uncertainties we face and a discussion of our financial statements and footnotes, see documents we file with the SEC.  We assume no obligation and expressly disclaim any duty to update forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this news release or to reflect the occurrence of subsequent events.

Contact:

Michael Watts

Vice president, investor relations and

corporate communications

858-410-8673



SOURCE Gen-Probe Incorporated