Wendelsheim / Schwerin - AESKU.GROUP, an innovation leader in autoimmune diagnostics, is taking over the allergy specialists DST Diagnostische Systeme & Technologien GmbH, thereby expanding its product portfolio to include allergy and food intolerance diagnostics.
We all know someone who suffers from hay fever, urticaria, asthma, atopic eczema or a food allergy. Allergies are escalating to epidemic proportions and becoming more severe and complex; due to their frequency and the growing socioeconomic burden they are now firmly in the spotlight. Similar to autoimmune diseases, allergy rates have drastically increased in recent decades. The reason for this development is unclear, but environmental factors such as pollutants, infections, lifestyle and diet are thought to be triggers.
The search for allergy-triggering factors resembles an investigation of a complex criminal case. The type and severity of the symptoms are very individual and hence different from person to person - a common feature of allergy and autoimmune disease. In contrast to autoimmune diseases, the allergic response is not directed against the body’s own tissues, but against normally harmless environmental substances, misclassified as invaders, leading to an inappropriate immune response. Discrimination of certain autoimmune diseases and allergic reactions is difficult since the symptoms of both diseases may be very similar. A reliable diagnosis is, however fundamental to successful treatment. Symptoms of wheat allergy, gluten sensitivity or the autoimmune disorder celiac disease, for example, are so similar that only serological analysis can differentiate the conditions. This example clearly illustrates how close the diagnostic areas of allergy, food intolerance and autoimmunity really are. Therefore it was logical for AESKU.GROUP to broaden its existing diagnostic portfolio to include allergy diagnostics.
As an innovative company in a highly dynamic and future-oriented market, AESKU.GROUP will continue to expand its core competencies, exploit corporate synergies and conquer new markets.
The first contact between the autoimmune specialist AESKU.GROUP and DST GmbH, a specialist in allergy and food intolerance, took place at the STEP Award ceremony in 2010; these awards are presented to innovative and growing companies. AESKU was declared the overall winner of the competition, convincing the jury by its continuous progress and its own development of a new analyzer. The prize in the "Processes" category was awarded to DST, for its proven ability to integrate suitable partners into its processes. A few years passed before AESKU.GROUP acquired DST, but it was clear from the start that both companies would benefit from a merger of their business units and synergy derived from their individual strengths.
With this acquisition the competencies of both companies were pooled; as a long-standing and global supplier, AESKU.GROUP has a high level of experience developing, producing and marketing diagnostic assays and automated systems. Additionally, AESKU.GROUP is proud of its well-developed sales network of trusted distributors. DST, has a portfolio of over 600 allergens, and proven expertise in allergen production and applications for ELISA, immunoblot and point-of-care (POC) tests. POC tests enable patient-oriented diagnosis without the need for laboratory equipment, being performed directly by doctors or healthcare practitioners.
"The integration of allergy, adverse food reactions and autoimmune diagnostics has clear advantages for our customers," says Dr. Torsten Matthias, AESKU.GROUP’s founder and CEO. "Due to the increasing importance of central laboratories, it is of advantage to get as many products as possible from a single source, particularly if these tests can be performed on a single system."
During the last few years, development and distribution of automated systems has become one of the key activities of AESKU.GROUP. The primary objective has been, and will be, to develop solutions suitable for every laboratory. In addition to the HELMED® pipetting processor, AESKU.GROUP offers laboratory automation systems that not only process but also read the Tests: SQII (ELISA), HELIA® (BLOT) and HELIOS® (IFA). Since immunoblots are a standard technique in allergy diagnostics, automatic processing of allergy tests by HELIA® will be of great interest in the future.
AESKU’s proven and innovative automated platforms combined with DST’s experience in allergen and food extract production will be a powerful new addition to the automated testing market.
Dr. Matthias clarified that the integration of DST’s Schwerin–based facility is a key strategic milestone in AESKU.GROUP’s expansion. "Here, we find everything that allows the smooth continuation of the production processes under GMP conditions" says Dr. Matthias. "The laboratories of DST, including their clean rooms, are optimally equipped for the production of allergens and allergy kits. In addition, there is a highly qualified team of employees, with many years of expertise in allergy diagnostics. We are looking forward to future cooperation and are convinced that together we will strengthen and expand our market position. "
About DST - Diagnostische Systeme & Technologien GmbH (short: DST GmbH)
DST GmbH, headquartered in Schwerin, was founded in October 2005 as a specialist in allergy diagnostics. DST develops, produces and markets in vitro diagnostic tests and products for the diagnosis of allergies and food intolerance; the product portfolio includes a wide range of laboratory tests and point-of-care rapid tests. Over 600 allergens and allergen components are purified and characterized in-house and form the foundation for high-quality in vitro diagnostic tests.
In 2010, DST won the STEP Award in the "Processes" category for its first rapid test system FastCheckPOC®, which was developed for the simple and fast diagnosis of allergies. This product, as well as the latest rapid testing systems (FastCheckPOC®20 Atopy and NutriSMART®) enables physicians and healthcare practitioners to reliably test their patients without the need for a laboratory test. These world-renowned, unique rapid tests allow the characterization of the immunological response in 30 minutes from a few drops of capillary blood.
From it’s 600 plus allergen catalogue, DST manufactures laboratory tests for both classical allergy (sIgE) and food intolerance testing (IgG and IgG4)
For ELISA, DST offers a range of regional, symptom-based and customized kits. The latest product family is AllergyLINE®, a Western blot-based method for the cost-effective determination of allergies and food intolerance.
With an international distribution network of capable and professional partners, DST’s range of high-quality products and services is available worldwide; further information and downloads can be found at: www.dst-diagnostic.com
AESKU.GROUP, based in Wendelsheim, Germany, offers the most comprehensive product portfolio worldwide in the field of autoimmune diagnostics, with in-house produced kits as well as automated systems. Currently, AESKU.GROUP employs more than 200 people and offers over 150 different products in more than 90 countries all over the world.
AESKU.GROUP is composed of AESKU.DIAGNOSTICS, AESKU.SYSTEMS, AESKU.THERAPY, AESKU.KIPP INSTITUTE and now includes DST GmbH. This enables AESKU.GROUP in a unique manner to unify scientific competence in basic research with expertise in the development of reliable, fast and easy-to-use products. It is the basis for the high-quality and the innovative lead of the products of AESKU. As a worldwide operating company, AESKU.GROUP has subsidiaries in USA, Singapore and Columbia and a highly developed, world-wide distributor network.
As the first company of AESKU.GROUP, AESKU.DIAGNOSTICS was founded in 2000 by Dr. Torsten Matthias with the aim of simplifying the laboratory routine with accurate, robust and reliable tests. In only a few years AESKU.GROUP has become a recognized name in the field of autoimmunity and managed to firmly establish itself among the market leaders. AESKU.GROUPs product portfolio includes not only the AESKULISA®, AESKUSLIDES® & AESKUBLOTS® product lines but also AESQC® quality standards, individual reagents, software solution for laboratory infrastructure (AESKU.LAB) and evaluation as well as device solutions for laboratory automation (HELMED® at the IFA, ELISA or BLOT variant, HELIOS®, HELIA®, SQII).
With over 650 installations worldwide, AESKU.GROUPs laboratory solutions are an accepted and established part of the market.