The genesis of the Abaxis technology took place at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where under contract to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), scientists sought to develop and manufacture a small biochemical analyzer for use in space laboratories.
Abaxis was founded in April 1989. Shortly thereafter, Abaxis acquired the exclusive patent rights from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, to develop and manufacture a biochemical analyzer that was capable of performing multiple blood tests from a single drop of whole blood. In 1992, Abaxis completed the concept design for the then-named "EPOC 2000" system.
To be able to measure multiple parameters from a very small quantity of whole blood, Abaxis developed the Orbos technology. This technology allows the manufacturing of stable reagents in minute quantities with extraordinary precision. In September 1994, Abaxis entered into a supply agreement with Becton Dickinson to provide them with immunochemical reagents in the Orbos format. Today, Abaxis licenses and manufactures reagents utilizing the Orbos technology to other companies.
The Piccolo analyzer was introduced to the market in November 1995 with two reagent discs; Primary Health Panel, a nine-test reagent disc and a General Health Panel, a 12-test reagent disc. With the 510(k) clearance of the GGT test from the FDA, the Liver Panel Plus disc was introduced in November 1996. Since then, Abaxis has added new tests and reagent discs to fulfill different physicians' needs.
The VetScan analyzer was introduced in the US veterinary market in July 1995. Abaxis initially launched the analyzer with the Diagnostic Profile, a nine-test reagent rotor. Since then Abaxis has added 14 different assays and eight different profiles targeted to fulfill different veterinary diagnostic needs.
Currently, Abaxis covers more than 90% of the general chemistry tests normally used in medical and veterinary diagnostics.