Product Updates BD launches circulating cell-free DNA blood collection tube for applications BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company, announced the commercial availability of the CE-IVD marked PAXgene® Blood ccfDNA tube within the European Economic Area and Switzerland (Western Europe). The plastic blood collection tube, which includes a proprietary sample stabilization additive and BD Vacutainer® Hemogard technology to help protect healthcare worker safety, was designed to ensure accurate and reproducible results in molecular diagnostic testing applications using circulating cell-free DNA (ccfDNA), such as cancer and noninvasive prenatal tests. The product was developed by PreAnalytiX GmbH, a joint venture between BD and QIAGEN. Cells, including fetal cells, tumor cells, or cells from transplanted organs, release DNA into the blood stream. This DNA can be analyzed using PCR or nextgeneration sequencing to understand genetic characteristics of a developing fetus, a cancer tumor, or a transplanted organ from a blood draw. Molecular diagnostic tests using ccfDNA enable clinicians to gain actionable biological insights without a tissue biopsy or similar invasive test. The PAXgene Blood ccfDNA tube provides a solution for clinical laboratories to stabilize samples when the sample cannot be processed on the same day it was collected. Where standard EDTA tubes require processing within hours before cells die and release genomic DNA into blood plasma (thus changing the native ccfDNA profile), the PAXgene tube has a unique stabilization chemistry that enables collection and processing to occur days apart, addressing a critical logistical hurdle for reference labs offering molecular testing outside of the hospital setting. “Many molecular diagnostic companies, particularly in the cancer space, are developing new tests for monitoring and screening patients. They need a safe, clinically acceptable system for blood collection and ccfDNA processing that is capable of stabilizing a sample so that ccfDNA extraction can occur after the sample is transferred to another location, something that's not possible with EDTA tubes,” said Frank Augello, general manager, PreAnalytiX GmbH. “This product will help molecular diagnostics companies in Western Europe offering ccfDNA based tests to grow their markets more quickly and ultimately help more patients access leading edge care.” “Reducing the potential for preanalytical errors is critical to ensuring the accuracy of molecular diagnostic tests,” said Uwe Oelmueller, Ph.D., vice president, head of MDx development sample technologies for QIAGEN, GmbH. “We are confident that the CE-IVD marked version of the PAXgene Blood ccfDNA tube will provide robust safety, and reliable and reproducible ccfDNA-based test results, helping to expand access to molecular diagnostic testing in Western Europe.” Since 2016, PreAnalytiX has marketed a research use only (RUO) version of the PAXgene Blood ccfDNA tube together with the QIAsymphony® PAXgene® Blood ccfDNA kit as a fully integrated and standardized system covering all preanalytical workflow steps from blood collection, stabilization, transport, storage and isolation of high quality ccfDNA. The RUO tube version has the same format and stabilization chemistry as the new CE-marked version. The RUO version of the tube will be discontinued as customers adopt the CE-IVD. 36
Product Updates Merivaara introduces versatile operating table Merivaara has unveiled one of the world's most versatile operating tables for elective procedures. The new, smarter Practico was designed to improve ergonomics with the industry's widest range of posture possibilities. “Customers have been asking for a table like this for years,” says Jyrki Nieminen, Merivaara's R&D director. “It has been in development for two years and we have received amazing feedback regarding the design, aesthetics and technical specifications.” Flexible, mobile operating tables are in high demand due to the rise in minimally invasive surgeries. The Practico family of operating tables is modular for a wide variety of surgical procedures. The Practico Max Hi goes up to 1143 mm (45 inches), while the Practico Max Lo goes down to 540 mm (21.3 inches), making it one of the lowest mobile tables on the market. “The population is getting older, so it is important for a table to be lowered so it is comfortable to sit upon,” Nieminen explains. “But a low table is even more important for the surgeon. Sometimes they have to stand on platforms in order for the patient to be at the right position. With the Practico the surgeon can put the patient exactly where he wants.” The table is also robust and can handle 280 kg. When you combine height adjustability with the tilt angle, Trendelenburg angle, and angles for both the back and leg sections, the Practico is impressively adaptable. “We worked very hard on the design,” Nieminen continues. “The base, wheels and covers are unique and resulted in an extremely compact base. There are deep cut-outs on the sides of the base so the surgeon can stand right next to the table.” They followed the time-honoured Nordic design principle of simplicity and utility. The base is tapered so that fluids flow off, and even screws are hidden so there are no dirt traps. It makes for fast and easy cleaning between procedures. “Hospitals and clinics are increasingly using the C- arm for imaging, so we designed the Practico to give you the best access,” Nieminen says. “ The collaboration between an operating table and C-arm has never been this easy before.” A safety sensor in the base cover automatically stops the movement of the table when the leg section touches the base. It also has a simple and easy-to-use hand control with an intuitive user interface and several memor y positions, saving staff from unnecessary hassle. The user interface is similar to other Merivaara products and can be connected to the Merivaara OpenOR integrated operating room management system. 37
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Macau may still be the hub of gaming in Asia but with the Chinese government’s anti-corruption crackdown ramping up and visa restrictions being tightened, many players are starting to look for other nearby alternatives such as the Philippines or Singapore.
Among the latest to join the queue is Vietnam where The Grand Ho Tram Strip, about a two hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City, presents a compelling case as one of the finest integrated resorts we’ve seen. In this issue of WGM we take an in-depth look at Ho Tram where we discovered not only a luxurious 5-star hotel and casino but a world class 18-hole golf course designed by none other than Greg Norman – all set right alongside a pristine two kilometre beach! We also sit down for a lengthy chat with President Shaun McCamley about the work he has done to fine tune the property’s gaming offerings since taking over the top job in October as well as some exciting new developments to come in the near future.
WGM recently announced the winner of our popular Model Search competition and this issue we feature a special 10-page photo shoot with Kooky and chat to her about her journey from Manila to Macau model! We also speak with Aristocrat’s new Managing Director Asia-Pacific Vincent Kelly as the region’s biggest slot machine supplier prepare for a huge few years ahead.
In sport, we delve into the complex world of football in China following the national side’s impressive performance at the recent Asian Cup in Australia and celebrate the nation’s growing stature on the world stage with a feature on snooker star Ding Junhui and badminton’s Chen Long who both reached number one in the world in December.
And our Panda restaurant review takes us to Hotel Okura at Galaxy where Japanese fine dining restaurant Yamazato impressed us with an exquisite lunch.