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TriCore Reference Laboratories and COPAN Announce Strategic Alliance with the Implementation of WASPLab(TM)

MURRIETA, Calif., May 12, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With the recent implementation of WASPLab™ and digital microbiology, COPAN Diagnostics, Inc. is pleased to announce a strategic alliance with TriCore Reference Laboratories.

TriCore Reference Laboratories, the largest clinical laboratory in New Mexico, added COPAN's WASPLab™ to its state-of-the-art laboratory to further enhance their ability to provide valuable health information that changes lives. "The implementation of the WASPLabTM takes Microbiology to the next level, combining traditional methods with state of the art digital imaging," stated Karissa Culbreath, PhD, TriCore's Scientific Director, Infectious Disease. "Implementation of this system at TriCore Reference Laboratories allows us to leverage our expertise in microbiology and look to novel opportunities in digital imaging to reduce turnaround times and have a true patient impact."

"TriCore evaluated alternate Microbiology automation options but felt that the WASPLab™ was the best fit due to its modular, scalable design. Additionally, TriCore has entered into a Center of Excellence agreement with COPAN which creates a mutually beneficial partnership allowing for input into future enhancements of this key investment," stated Bill Remillard, TriCore's Chief Technical Officer.

With the introduction of digital Microbiology and the advancement of point of care technologies, Microbiology is changing at a fast speed. WASPLab™ is a sophisticated system that automatically processes Microbiology specimens and uses sample barcodes to guide the specimen through the system, determining how to process it and when to image cultures. WASPLab™ connects WASP®DT Walk-Away Specimen Processor to the smart incubators using a conveyor track. In the incubators, the plates are imaged so they can be read digitally and when they are ready to be read. This moves the Microbiology laboratory from a batch process to a continuous workflow, reducing turnaround times for increased targeted intervention. TriCore Reference Laboratories considers this investment important for improving accessibility of diagnostic data to continue to increase the clinical significance of the laboratory for better population health management.

"With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the changes to healthcare, TriCore Reference Laboratories is pioneering change in the way laboratories think about patient care and is moving from a volume-based system to a value-based system, which is in line with COPAN's vision for the future," stated COPAN Diagnostics' CEO, Norman Sharples. "We are really excited about TriCore selecting COPAN as its partner for full laboratory automation in Microbiology, as our companies share similar visions of reshaping the way healthcare is delivered, taking advantage of informatics and digital imaging," concluded Sharples.



About COPAN Group
With a reputation for innovation, Copan is the leading manufacturer of collection and transport systems in the world. Copan's collaborative approach to preanalytics has resulted in Flocked Swabs, ESwab™, Universal Transport Medium
and laboratory automation, WASP® and WASPLab. Copan carries a range of microbial sampling products, inoculation loops, and pipettes. For more information, visit www.copanusa.com

About TriCore Reference Laboratories
TriCore Reference Laboratories is an independent clinical reference laboratory providing a complete range of services to health care professionals across the Southwest as well as pathology consultation services to clinicians across the country. TriCore also provides investigational services including FDA-regulated clinical trials, IRB-approved studies, device and diagnostic instrument testing, serving global biotech firms as well as academic clients. For more information, visit www.tricore.org

A photo accompanying this release is available at:
http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=40244

CONTACT: Gabriela Franco Global Marketing Manager (800) 216-4016 Gabriela.franco@copanusa.net Carol Biondi Communications & PR Director (800) 245-3296 Carol.Biondi@tricore.com

Source:TriCore Reference Laboratories