Product News: Waters Celebrates Fifth Anniversary of Launch of Award-Winning UltraPerformance LC System

16 Mar 2009

At Pittcon 2004, Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT) sparked a wave of innovation in laboratory analysis when it introduced its ACQUITY UltraPerformance LC® (UPLC®) System, a new liquid chromatograph based on novel, patented sub two-micron chromatography particles that transformed the way scientists analyze samples and increased the value that laboratories bring to the business enterprise.

After carrying out extensive evaluations, many laboratories have since replaced HPLC technology with ACQUITY® UPLC as their gold standard for liquid chromatography separations and as an inlet for mass spectrometry.

In response to market demands, Waters has added numerous product extensions and made hundreds of refinements to the UPLC technology since the launch of the product. The result is a proven, workhorse UPLC system prized by the world’s most prominent research institutions and largest manufacturers of drugs, foods, beverages, nutritional supplements, personal care products and fine chemicals as a rugged, dependable quality control tool.

“The introduction of a complete chromatography system employing sub two-micron column technology has been a major advance in liquid chromatography,” comments Robert Stevenson, Ph.D., an expert in chromatography, industry consultant and a contributing editor with American Laboratory magazine. “While components of this technology had predated ACQUITY UPLC by several years, Waters uniquely deserves the credit for putting it all together in ACQUITY UPLC and raising the performance bar significantly. Further, the advantages cited by users are much more than predicted. People are buying the sub two micron technology because it works.”

UPLC technology fast became synonymous with sharper chromatographic peaks, increased peak heights, and better signal-to-noise performance leading to greater all-around MS sensitivity. With the ability to see things in their samples that they couldn’t before – or see them in a fraction of the time it used to take – forward-thinking scientists took notice. Since the launch of the ACQUITY UPLC System, scientists have written more than 400 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and given countless oral and poster presentations at scientific conferences. Additionally the ACQUITY UPLC System has been the recipient of a Pittcon Editors Gold Award in 2004 and a Research and Development Magazine R&D 100 Award in 2005.

More importantly, however, to laboratory-dependent businesses and research organizations, is the meaningful impact that the ACQUITY UPLC System has on day-to-day operations.

“Not only is ACQUITY faster, it gives us better sensitivity. Better peak shape means faster data analysis, but it also allows us to do things that we just couldn’t do with HPLC,” says Philip Grace, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Quotient Bioresearch Ltd., Fordham, England, a contract research organization catering to the needs of drug companies. “The resolution combined with the speed has been a major advantage for us in quite a lot of assays.”

“ACQUITY has made a tremendous change in how labs operate in terms of quality of data, speed of the data and how quickly you can generate results from a sample,” says Michael Evans, Ph.D., President and CEO, AIT Laboratories, Indianapolis, Indiana, a premiere toxicology laboratory. “It has helped us really service our clients better,” he added.

“The speed that we’re getting is incredible and in our business, speed is money. We’re a production lab so we don’t have time to wait around or run samples overnight and pick up the results in the morning. Now I can run ACQUITY in one shift, get my results, and release the product—all in one day. This is a huge gain in productivity for us,” says Steve Lunetta, Manager – Quality Control Laboratory, PharmaVite LLC, San Fernando, California, the makers of Nature Made® brand vitamins and nutritional supplements.

A Newly Enhanced UPLC Product Portfolio
Marking the fifth anniversary of its launch, Waters has expanded its award-winning UPLC product portfolio and will have its entire complement of UPLC products on display during Pittcon 2009, March 8 – 13 in Chicago. They include the nanoACQUITY® UPLC system for nanoscale life science applications; the PATROL™ UPLC Process analyzer, an at-line version for process monitoring; numerous compatible LC and quadrupole mass detectors; compatible high-performance triple, tandem, and quadrupole time-of-flight/ion mobility research-grade mass spectrometers; a dozen column chemistries including newly-redeveloped ACQUITY UPLC columns, the result of Waters Designed for Six Sigma (DFSS) quality process; the TRIZAIC® UPLC System with nanoTile Technology designed to deliver exceptional sensitivity for limited-sample, direct-flow, nanoscale protein separations; a new hand-held controller for managing system operations; and applications-specific UPLC/MS and UPLC/MS/MS system solutions for food safety, amino acid, melamine, and proteomics analyses.

“Our customers often operate in highly-competitive industries and depend on Waters as a business partner to achieve their goals,” said Art Caputo, President, Waters Division. “We’re here at Pittcon 2009 to tell scientists that they can count on Waters for innovative technology like ACQUITY UPLC that can have a measurable impact on the scientific and business bottom line.”