Press Release

Sysmex Begins Joint Development of Imaging FCM Products with Merck

  Sysmex Corporation (HQ: Kobe, Japan; Chairman and CEO: Hisashi Ietsugu; hereinafter, "Sysmex") has begun joint development with Merck (HQ: Darmstadt, Germany; CEO: Karl-Ludwig Kley) of an automated system for fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) testing1 using Merck’s life science business’ imaging flow cytometry2 (Hereinafter, “imaging FCM”) technology. Going forward, the two companies are aiming for the rapid commercialization of imaging FCM products.

  In July 2013, Sysmex entered a clinical research, joint development and licensing agreement with Merck’s life science business, making use of the company’s imaging FCM technology. Together, we have conducted clinical research aimed at verifying the potential of applying this technology to hematologic disorders. Based on the results of this clinical research, we have begun developing an automated system for FISH testing using imaging FCM technology.

  FISH testing is a chromosomal testing method employed in the diagnosis of cancer and other diseases. The current multi-step method involves looking through an optical microscope to determine whether genes within a cell are normal or abnormal. As this method is manual, it limits the number of cells that can be tested and requires considerable effort on the part of clinical laboratory staff.

  It is hoped that the product under joint development will use automation to achieve enhanced testing efficiency and standardization. By incorporating FCM, the number of cells measured will increase, thereby achieving higher testing precision of FISH; monitoring the therapeutic efficacy by FISH testing is also expected. We plan to begin by utilizing this powerful technique in leukemia testing applications.

  Through joint development with Merck’s life science business, Sysmex aims to promote the establishment of new testing technology and expand its portfolio of products related to the management of hematologic disorders. We also plan to develop applications beyond hematologic disorders, with a view toward the future achievement of liquid biopsy3. We aim to continue creating new value on an ongoing basis in response to increasingly diverse and sophisticated testing needs.

Information for reference: 
Released as of March 13, 2014
"Sysmex Enters into Clinical Research, Joint Development and Licensing Agreement with Merck Millipore"

1 FISH testing: A technique that uses fluorescent material binding only specific genes to detect target genes within chromosomes.
2 Imaging flow cytometry: Flow cytometry (FCM) is a method involving the flow dispersion of minute particles and the use of laser light to optically analyze minute flows. Used primarily to observe individual cells, imaging FCM is a proprietary Merck technology that combines FCM for processing large quantities of cells with the rapid capture of images of cell morphology, fluorescent imaging and automated digital image analysis.
3 Liquid biopsy: Detection of cancer or other diseases by testing bodily fluids such as blood. This type of testing is less invasive than conventional physical biopsies.


  • Information contained in the press release is current as of the date of the announcement,
    but may be subject to change without prior notice.

Back to "Press Release"