Roche launches new H&E tissue staining solution - the VENTANA HE 600 system

Basel, 09 November 2015

Tissue stain quality and efficiency to set new standard for patient care

Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) today announced the launch of the VENTANA HE 600 system, the latest fully automated hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) tissue staining system that enhances patient and technician safety and produces exceptional staining quality.

The VENTANA HE 600 system delivers fresh reagents on each individual slide without relying on user-supplied alcohol and deionized (DI) water, resulting in improved consistency and quality in tissue staining. This individual slide staining technology mitigates the risk of specimen cross contamination that can occur with other technologies, helping to reduce patient misdiagnosis.

The VENTANA HE 600 system’s elimination of xylene and alcohol and its utilization of ready-to-use reagents reduce technician exposure to these harmful chemicals. The system improves workflow by eliminating the need to manually mix reagents and track product expiration dates.

The system offers more than 400 individual staining protocols and is fully customizable, allowing for laboratory and pathologists’ preferences and tissue variables. In a recent global test, more than 4,000 slides from laboratories in 12 countries were stained on the VENTANA HE 600 system and reviewed by 67 pathologists with excellent results. Evaluation of the criteria, including nuclear detail and stain quality and intensity, resulted in a score of 3.7 on a scale of 4.0.

Robert C. Babkowski, MD, Chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medical Director at Stamford Hospital and President of Stamford Pathology Group PC, who was the lead pathologist on a recent 4 week beta test conducted at Stamford Hospital1, where he reviewed over 1,000 slides, said, “When we compared our current system, the VENTANA HE 600 system is easier to use, the slides are exquisite and the consistency is solid. The new system provides beautifully stained slides every time and has allowed me, as a working pathologist, to be even more efficient. Because the instrument is so easy to operate, my histotechnologists are now able to focus on other key histology functions.”

“Approximately eighty percent of a pathologist's diagnostic report comes from the H&E stain. The VENTANA HE 600 system will help change the standard of care for laboratories, pathologists and, most importantly, cancer patients, who rely heavily on the H&E test,” said Roland Diggelmann, COO, Roche Diagnostics Division. “The system reflects Roche’s commitment to delivering innovation that meets the labs’ needs of today and tomorrow through meaningful advancements in staining quality, patient and laboratory safety and workflow.”

The VENTANA HE 600 system currently is available worldwide2 with the exception of Latin America, where it will become available in early 2016.

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and neuroscience. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostics that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. Founded in 1896, Roche has been making important contributions to global health for more than a century. Twenty-nine medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and chemotherapy.

In 2014, the Roche Group employed 88,500 people worldwide, invested 8.9 billion Swiss francs in R&D and posted sales of 47.5 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit

All trademarks used or mentioned in this release are protected by law.

1 Stamford Hospital is one of 4 beta test sites
2 Local product availability may vary.