Timeline

High impact innovation for over twenty years

1992
Schroeder and Neagle found NovelTech Systems, invent FLIPR
Kirk Schroeder and Brad Neagle establish NovelTech Systems, Inc. (Ann Arbor, Michigan). Working with Vince Groppi of the Upjohn Company, Kirk and Brad go on to design, develop and manufacture the Fluorescence Imaging Plate Reader (FLIPR). This revolutionary technology begins to transform the way industrialists screen G-protein coupled receptor and ion channel drug targets. Along with associated consumables, FLIPR goes on to become a billion dollar revenue product and is used by all of the world's top 20 pharmaceutical companies.
1999
Essen Instruments born, next stop automated patch clamping
Kirk and Brad found Essen Instruments and turn their efforts to automating patch clamp electrophysiology, a powerful but low-throughput ion channel recording method. In 2002, Essen launched IonWorks, the world’s first truly high throughput electrophysiology system and associated PatchPlate consumable. This method revolutionizes patch-clamp electrophysiology from labor-intensive, highly-skilled, one cell-at-a-time measurements to an automated 384 well format. Following the delivery of the first five commercial systems, Molecular Devices Corporation license the technology for distribution. As with FLIPR, IonWorks is rapidly adopted by most of the world’s largest drug discovery companies
2005
Essen Instruments invent IncuCyte live cell imager
Our years of experience in developing functional cell-based assays uncovered a need to standardize and document cellular growth rates and morphology. The result was IncuCyte, the first automated imaging system designed to fit inside a standard cell culture incubator. This methodology enables around-the-clock kinetic imaging without removing the cells from the controlled environment. IncuCyte is production-ready in late 2005 and the first units ship from the new Essen manufacturing facility in Ann Arbor in early 2006.
2007
Expansion of Discovery Services franchise and global footprint
In response to demand for flexible access to our expertise and platforms, Essen builds a Discovery Services contract research arm, first in North America (Michigan) and then expanding into Europe (UK) in 2009 with the establishment of the Essen Ltd. subsidiary. Initially focusing on ion channel safety and discovery studies utilizing our IonWorks and FLIPR experience, the global team grows an impressive client base. As more applications are developed, Essen expands its service offerings to include IncuCyte live cell imaging and other phenotypic assays. In 2010 the company establishes a direct subsidiary in Japan, and is rebranded as Essen BioScience to reflect the expanded offerings of instruments, services, cell kits and reagents.
2012
Essen BioScience launches all new IncuCyte ZOOM
Essen BioScience launches our second generation live cell kinetic imaging system, IncuCyte ZOOM. Based on the rapid adoption of the first generation system and expanded use of IncuCyte as an assay technology, ZOOM incorporates many new features, including multiple fluorescent colors, multiple objectives, enhanced morphological processing, and increased speed. IncuCyte ZOOM joins our CellPlayer Assays, Reagents and Cell Models in enabling a new mode of assay biology, termed Live Content Imaging. In 2013 Essen celebrates the 9th consecutive year of rapid revenue growth, and the 300th peer reviewed publication using IncuCyte technology.
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