Monday, July 27, 2020

NYT: Tecan tips are in shortage

Via the New York Times, this interesting comment:
...The Swiss company Tecan, which supplies pipette tips for machines used by hundreds of laboratories in the United States, has been slammed with orders from U.S. customers in recent months, according to Martin Brändle, the firm’s senior vice president of corporate communications and investor relations. The demand has been so high, he said, that Tecan has tapped into an emergency stash, and is racing to install new production lines that he hopes will double the company’s output by fall. 
Pipette tips aren’t the only laboratory items in short supply. Dwindling stocks of machines, containers and chemicals needed to extract or amplify the coronavirus’s genetic material have clogged almost every point along the testing workflow...
An additional clarifying note via Twitter: "specialized tips for automated sampling handling robots to PCR specs." That's definitely something where I can imagine that Tecan was probably not ready for the surge in demand, and is just trying to keep up these days (or outsource?)

I find it continually frustrating, incidentally, that no organization seems to have determined which reagents are in shortage, and what can be done to increase their supply. Isn't this something simple to publish and continually inform the biotechnology/chemical manufacturing industry about? 


  1. Hear hear re your frustration. Hopefully someone, somewhere (FEMA? DHS? CDC?) will accept a role as that central voice and do some analysis to plan for the next one of these. I know you prefer us not to bring politics to this excellent blog, but this is what a federal government is good for and we should strive for that. I fear that we are instead moving to some kind of capitalist corporate feudal system with the central government's role solely as mercenary enforcers.

  2. We have had issues sourcing amino acids, single-use bags, and chromatography resin in last couple of months. This is at a biologics CDMO


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20