How to plan for the discontinuation of your DNA purification system

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Have you set up a reliable and optimized system for high-throughput nucleic acid purification, but suddenly the company providing the instrumentations and reagents announced that they are going to discontinue the products and the service? There might be some very valid reasons why that specific provider took that decision but the result is threatening your operations, and you need to make some critical decisions moving forward.

Which kind of scientist are you?

How are you planning to cope with the discontinuation of your favorite nucleic acid purification system? Are you a realistic, loyal, optimistic, or fearless scientist? Click on the answers below to find out.

Customer1

The realistic scientist

You have a very practical look at your workflow: the solution you want is the one which works best, independently from the technology or provider.

Pros:

  • If the new technology has been thoroughly validated for the required application, the switch to the new system will not cause delays and disruption in the workflow
  • An established technology that is the base for the development of new instruments and protocols will guarantee a low risk of discontinuation of the system in the future. Systems based on the use of polyvinyl alcohol magnetic beads are a good example of this kind of technology
  • It’s an opportunity to increase the efficiency of the workflow with an improved technology

Cons:

  • Building a new relationship with a company requires time and effort
  • You will need to dedicate some resources to make sure the new approach delivers the DNA and RNA of your required yield and purity

The loyal customer

You have an emotional connection with the brand you chose in the first place. You are a loyal and committed customer, always willing to give your favorite company a second chance.

Pros: you already have a relationship with the company. You know how the service works, and you feel comfortable interacting with them.

Cons:

  • The new system they are introducing is based on a different chemistry that might not provide you with results similar to the ones you are used to: plan for a lot of set up effort ahead.
  • The new technology might take a while until it matures to the point of being reliable as the old one.
  • If they did it once, they might do it again. Who’s to say they will not change again in a few years?

Customer 2

Customer 3

The optimistic geneticist

Other companies have committed to keep producing an instrument that replaces your old one: why should you not trust what they say?

Pros: if the instruments the new company sells is identical to the old one and is manufactured with the same quality, it will support your workflow and avoid any disruption

Cons:

  • If the instrument repacing yours has some differences in the assembly and in its functionality, it might affect the performance of your laboratory
  • Since this is a me-too instrument, it is likely not being further developed, limiting potential new applications in your lab
  • The future availability of the instrument, accessories, replacement parts, and service will depend on strategic decisions of the company offering the replacement. Biotechnology companies need to be highly flexible, and might decide to change or discontinue their products with very little or no notice to respond to changes in the marketplace. After all, there has to be a reason why the original producer dropped the product in the first place.

Customer 4

The fearless researcher

“Everybody has a plan until they got punched in the face”. This quote by Mike Tyson is usually brought up to question the utility of overthinking things. While there is some truth in it, not having some kind of plan on how to deal with future events might be quite problematic on the long run, especially when running a laboratory with many interdependent processes. After all, the trajectory taken by the career of Mr. Tyson might actually be considered a cautionary tale about what might happen when the long-term vision is missing.

Pros: if your instrument does not break down or require any service in the next years, you will save a lot of time and effort by not replacing it and validating an alternative

Cons: if anything happens to your instrument and you do not have a contingency plan in place, you might end up with a long down-time and a potentially devastating disruption of your workflow.

Automated nucleic acid isolation workflows based on a proven technology

PerkinElmer chemagen Technology offers a wide range of solutions for the automated purification of nucleic acids. Please follow the link below to learn more about our DNA and RNA isolation workflows.

PerkinElmer chemagen's automated workflows for the purification of  nucleic acids

For research use only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.