Diagnostic products were added to Orion’s production schedule in 1968, when Orion’s microbiological department started up the production of Uricult®, intended for the testing of urinary tract infections. The market for the Uricult test and immunology-based products looked promising, and thus the company established the Orion Diagnostica division in 1974. Operations were transferred from Vallila, Helsinki, to the new diagnostics building in Mankkaa, Espoo, in 1975. An extension to this building was completed in 1984.
At Farmos-Yhtymä, development of diagnostic products began in 1974. Farmos was merged into Orion in 1990. The first focuses of product development at what was initially known as Farmos Diagnostica were RIA methods (radioimmunologic assay) for the determination of digoxin, thyroid hormones and steroids. The first product, a Digoxin (H3) RIA kit, was launched in 1976. The company’s current diagnostics plant in Turku was completed in 1979.
More radioimmunologic assay methods were included in the product range when Farmos acquired the Oulunsalo-based Nordiclab Oy in 1976. Farmos Diagnostica was merged into Orion Diagnostica in 1992. The manufacture of diagnostic products in Oulunsalo ended in 2005 when these functions were integrated into the Turku plant.
Orion Diagnostica launched the first product generations of the Hygicult® and Easicult® branded hygiene tests back in the 1970s, along with Dentocult® tests for monitoring oral health. At the beginning of the 1980s, the company rolled out Streptocult® for diagnosing respiratory tract infections and Rotalex®, the world’s first rapid test for rotavirus diagnosis. The first Turbox® analyser and immunoturbidimetric tests developed for it were brought to market in 1987.
In the 2000s, the universally acclaimed QuikRead® system for point-of-care testing became Orion Diagnostica’s major product – particularly QuikRead CRP. The QuikRead go® test system was launched in 2010. In addition to QuikRead test systems, Orion Diagnostica develops, manufactures and markets e.g.
- Uricult tests and other dipslides (Easicult, Hygicult),
- Orion Clean Card® PRO rapid tests for detecting protein residues and
- immunological test series for measuring bone and soft tissue markers at centralised laboratories.
In 2011 Orion Diagnostica acquired SIBA® technology, the platform for Orion GenRead®. SIBA is a rapid and reliable isothermal nucleic acid amplification technology. First-phase tests will target pathogens causing gastrointestinal disease. Future product portfolio will cover a wider range of pathogen tests.
In 2014 Orion Diagnostica celebrated its 40-year journey.