Tecniplast and Charles River Sign Agreement in Europe and Asia to Co-market Complementary Technologies Concerning Sentinel-Free Health Monitoring for Laboratory Animal Facilities
// Feb, 2017

Tecniplast and Charles River Sign Agreement in Europe and Asia to Co-market Complementary Technologies Concerning Sentinel-Free Health Monitoring for Laboratory Animal Facilities

Tecniplast and Charles River have announced a co-marketing agreement in Europe and Asia to promote complementary technologies that improve the microbiological environmental monitoring of individually ventilated cages (IVCs.) Tecniplast’s system, called the Interceptor (patent pending), collects dust particles moving from cages to the exhaust filtration area, capturing them on a media that is ready for microbiological screening. Charles River, a global leader in environment health monitoring, provides an optimized solution to screen the dust particles collected from the Interceptor. 

"Through this co-marketing partnership, we will deliver to the Lab Animal Industry a scientifically preferable solution that meets both operational and regulatory requirements”, remarked Pietro Bernardini, Managing Director of Tecniplast.

The Interceptor

Tecniplast, following the growing market demand for Environmental Microbiological Monitoring Systems, recently presented a new product, called Interceptor. The solution Tecniplast presented is an accurate environmental microbiological monitoring in IVCs, which represent a new frontier to monitor the hygienic state of laboratory animals with a highly sensitive solution for the collection of exhaust dust particles. In addition, the removal of biological samples from the IVC occurs in a contamination-free manner enabling the safe transfer of the sample from the microbiological unit under investigation to the laboratory. The product is simple, inexpensive, efficient and validated on Mouse Norovirus (MNV), a difficult microbiological agent to detect in the environment. Made of two parts, a stainless steel frame purposely designed to allocate a second piece of equipment, an irradiated cardboard folder containing a sliding filter, Interceptor (patent pending) is the Tecniplast answer to the need of animal free microbiological monitoring. The Interceptor is also retrofitable and meets European Union and Asian regulatory requirements.

Consumers will benefit from this new technology, which offers the following benefits:

1. Quick and effective detection of microorganisms The Interceptor shows higher sensitivity versus the traditional bedding sentinel methodology. Collected data demonstrates that difficult-to-detect pathogenic microorganisms (FELASA panel, 2014) are more quickly identified, even with a low infection prevalence.

2. Closed system to avoid contamination of samples (patent pending) Once the Interceptor media is removed from the air handling unit (AHU), the filter is protected by its cardboard folder from contaminants and it is ready to be sent for PCR testing.

3. Easier and more inexpensive than bedding sentinels The Interceptor is easy and quick to install. It is cheaper than bedding sentinels because it avoids the use of extra animals and the related costs of labor, handling and shipment. And therefore is well in tune with promoting the the 3Rs (Reduction, Refinement, Replacement).

4. Closed system to avoid contamination of samples (patent pending) The Interceptor is the result of four years of studies to find a reliable and efficient microbiological screening method; it complements Tecniplast’s significant product and service portfolio, which is positioned to deliver efficiency advantages to a wide array of industries while benefiting the welfare of animals.

Preliminary scientific results were presented at FELASA 2013 (Barcelona) and AALAS 2014 (St Antonio - USA). Two manuscripts have been submitted for review and recent results have been presented at FELASA 2016 (Brussels) and AALAS 2016 (Charlotte). 
EAD® (Exhaust Air Dust) Testing from Charles River (Patent Pending)

The standard practice for monitoring the health of animals housed in IVCs is to employ the soiled bedding sentinel method. Sentinel animals refer to externally sourced animals that are introduced into a population, exposed to the resident animals or soiled bedding from the population and sampled in lieu of the principal animals. However, the major drawback to this method it is that it relies on indirect exposure for infectious agent detection. While the soiled-bedding method is still a standard practice, it should be noted that it is difficult to transmit several currently prevalent agents to sentinel animals via this method.

EAD® is an alternative method of screening environmental samples via PCR that enables you to overcome the known limitations of soiled-bedding sentinel health monitoring (patent pending). Charles River has qualified the combination of PCR testing and EAD® sampling as a scientifically feasible health monitoring alternative to soiled bedding sentinel testing. Our testing platform is compatible with the media which collects the dust particles from Tecniplast’s Interceptor.  Furthermore, our experts are ready to work with animal facilities and Tecniplast  specialists to determine how best to develop customized EAD®-based health monitoring programs to suit all requirements.

The new co-marketing partnership is expected to spark innovation by maximizing the product development talents and resources at both companies, while driving scale and efficiency in the partners' respective supply chains. The partnership is a strong strategic fit, leveraging the two leading companies’ respective strengths.


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