Copan Group, Innovation in Pre-Analytics Copan Italia spa is the leading global developer and manufacturer of collection, preservation and transport devices for microbiology. Copan is an acronym for COllection and Preservation for the ANalysis. The mission is to improve the quality of the Pre-Analytical Phase of microbiology. The Company was established in 1979 and started distributing general laboratory products.
The production of basic plastic items (TOA cups, Pasteur pipettes, inoculation loops and needles, spreaders) began a few years after. Since then Copan has gained significant know-how in plastic injection and blow-moulding technologies and it has evolved into a fully integrated company: all functions – product design and preservation media development, mould construction, equipment automation customisation, production assembly, microbiological quality controls – are all done in-house. Production operates 24/7, on 3 shifts. The high level of automation has allowed the reduction of production costs, thus making Copan products affordable on a global basis. Copan highest quality standards and cost-effectiveness have made us the worldwide leader in bacteriology collection and transport swabs, with market share around 80%. Since 1998 Copan operates from a 10.000 m² custom-built and state-of-the-art facility in Brescia. During 2009 additional 15.000 m² of space were made available to manage the increased production/sales volume and the new projects Copan has launched. Copan facilities comprise of R&D microbiology laboratories:
bacteriology, virology and molecular biology, fully dedicated to conduct Copan products microbiological quality controls, compatibility tests with different diagnostics platforms and techniques and work on the improvement and development of new pre-analytical probes and preservation media. After introducing incremental innovation for more than 20 Years, designing more user-friendly and better performance collection and transport devices for bacteriology at a reasonable price, the most emblematic example of radical innovation from Copan are FLOQSwabs, collection devices with a revolutionary engineering (Worldwide Patented, WO 2004/086979), introducing the possibility to design swabs with anatomical shape.
The most important feature of nylon-sprayed flocked swab is the total sample recovery rate - up to 95%, compared to 20% recovery from traditional fiber swabs and the possibility for automatic and complete release of the sample into liquid phase. FLOQSwabs have been associated with a number of novel preservation and enrichment media (for various application, including molecular biology), introducing a new approach to microbiology laboratory workflow called Liquid Based Microbiology (LBM). Copan has developed a preservation medium for Viruses, called UTM (Universal Transport Medium), the system for collection and transport of Influenza specimens officially recommended by CDC and WHO.