Reinvent your laboratory with cobas® 6800/8800 Systems

The new industry standard

Molecular diagnostics are a key component of laboratory medicine, and PCR is a prime driver of this dynamic.

As the most innovative molecular diagnostics systems on the market, the cobas® 6800/8800 Systems will transform the way molecular labs think and work, truly representing the future of molecular testing.

With increased work-away time labs can create a more meaningful work environment, and the ability to scale efficiently opens a world of possibilities for operational growth.

Embracing transformation for long-term sustainability

As Healthcare continues to shift towards a value-based model of care, maintaining the status quo may no longer be a viable option for future success. The cobas® 6800/8800 Systems sit at the heart of a revolutionary new approach to molecular testing, called the Molecular Work Area.

Searching for a long-term laboratory solution

Healthcare sustainability is a growing global concern. Workforce shortages, industry-wide consolidation, and new players entering the space have many wondering what the future will bring. As we look to see how future events will unfold, we may be able to identify a way forward, by looking to the past.

The early days of molecular diagnostics

Kary Mullis’ 1983 discovery of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was an integral step in the birth of molecular diagnostics. In recognition of his work, Mullis was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1993.

This DNA ‘photocopier’ in a test tube allowed PCR and other nucleic acid amplification (NAAT)-based techniques to quickly become commonplace in laboratory medicine.1-5

The following decades introduced new techniques to speed up PCR through automation and allowed for the development of today’s generation of rapid, precise, multiplex PCR instruments and systems.6

The need for automated diagnostic solutions

Molecular diagnostic laboratories are faced with a daunting set of challenges—increasing test volumes, expanding assay menus, higher demand for quality results, and a need to enhance productivity while limiting cost.

To answer these challenges, molecular laboratories are following the lead of clinical chemistry labs by prioritizing the transition towards total laboratory automation (TLA).

Historically, the development of most molecular IVD tests has centered on assay reagents and testing instrumentation, without much focus on holistic system integration.

Today, patient samples can be moved seamlessly from initial arrival in the laboratory all the way through to releasing results to clinicians6 by linking modules of track-enabled systems via the laboratory information system (LIS).

technician using cobas omni utility

Universal concept design of cobas® 6800/8800 Systems


Prior attempts to integrate and automate the different aspects of the sample-to-result continuum achieved varying degrees of success. The cobas® 6800 System and cobas® 8800 System are designed to improve process consistency and increase efficiency through absolute automation, true consolidation, proven integration, and unrivaled standardization.

  • Accommodate multiple types of assays in a much more flexible and automated manner6
  • Improve turnaround times, efficiency, and traceability of testing7
  • Streamline sample preparation, allowing total nucleic acids to be isolated, purified, and extracted within the sample processing module, eliminating separate RNA or DNA isolation7
  • Optimize resources and processes to elevate value and get more done with less
  • Validated for cross-contamination compliance, including the elimination of carryover from previous PCR samples


Minimizing downtime allows you to significantly improve the utilization of skilled technicians and reduce cost.6-8 With the freedom to focus on higher value tasks, the confidence to streamline operations, and the capacity to meet growing demands, laboratories of all sizes and disciplines can set a course for sustainability and success.

Efficiency standardised
Efficiency and standardization with full laboratory automation

The cobas® 6800 System and cobas® 8800 System provide up to 96 results in about 3 hours and, from an eight-hour shift, 864 results and 1,824 results, respectively.

  • Automated sample processing with no presorting or test batching required
  • On-board storage enables ready access for up to 12 assays
  • Fully automated workflows reduce hands-on time
  • Optimized square footage as no additional cleaning, reagent prep or freezer/refrigerator storage space is required
  • Complete track connectivity validated for molecular testing, only available from Roche*
End-to-end workflow automation

Roche is continuing to advance automation in molecular diagnostics, using pre-analytical instruments to further streamline workflows. Automating tedious manual steps like sorting, decapping, aliquoting, and re-capping can reduce the potential for errors and training requirements while maximizing efficiency and work-away time.

Connecting pre-analytic automation solutions to cobas® 6800/8800 Systems allows Roche to bring an entirely new paradigm to workflow efficiency.*

*Connectivity via track system not approved/cleared for use with all cobas® 6800/8800 assays in all markets

cobas® 6800/8800 Systems: Automating molecular workflows
Simplified assay development

The cobas® 6800/8800 Systems feature a dedicated open channel that allows laboratories to bring proven performance, absolute automation and unrivaled efficiency to high-volume lab developed tests (LDTs) and third party assays.

The cobas omni Utility Channel* consolidates IVD and open channel assays onto a single platform**, increasing operational efficiency, maximizing laboratory space, and minimizing the capital investment needed to procure additional instruments.

With the flexibility to develop and validate their own tests, laboratories can explore new business opportunities and elevate their organizational role.

*The cobas omni Utility Channel is not available in all markets.
**IVD and LDT samples are run on separate cobas omni Processing Plates.

Efficiency gains across healthcare

Automated platforms increase clinical value delivered to stakeholders across the continuum of healthcare.

Close up of technician sorting blood samples

Clinicians receive quality assured results fast, allowing informed patient management decisions or the safe release of blood products by blood centers and plasma fractionators.

Female lab technician in front of Roche system

Laboratories can increase their test volume capability and flexibility, deliver fast turnaround times and improved result quality, and reduce hands-on time to free up technicians for other value-added tasks.

Female lab technician working at computer

Assay developers benefit from uniform chemistry and thermocycling parameters for faster and more efficient assay development in emergency situations like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Man and woman discussing finances

Finance teams can reinvest the cost savings resulting from increased productivity and capacity into other value-added initiatives.

molecular testing assay menu

Molecular Work Area assays

A broad and expanding menu of assays for donor screening, infectious diseases, respiratory infections, sexual health, gastrointestinal, antimicrobial stewardship, and transplant transmitted infections.


  1. Mullis KB, Faloona FA. Specific synthesis of DNA in vitro via a polymerase-catalyzed chain reaction. Methods Enzymol. 1987;155:335-350.
  2. Salki RK, Bugawan TL, Horn GT, et al. Analysis of enzymatically amplified beta-globin and HLA-DQ alpha DNA with allele-specific oligonucleotide probes. Nature. 1986;324(6093):163-166.
  3. Salki RK, Gelfand DH, Stiffel S, et al. Primer-directed enzymatic amplification of DNA with a thermostable DNA polymerase. Science. 1988;239(4839):5.
  4. Mullis, KB. The unusual origin of the polymerase chain reaction. Sci AM. 1990;262(4):56-61, 64-55.
  5. Mullis, KB. Target amplification for DNA analysis by the polymerase chain reaction. Ann Biol Clin (Paris).1990;48(8):579-582.
  6. Cobb, B., Simon, C.O., Stramer, S.L., Body, B., et al. (2017) ‘The cobas® 6800/8800 system: A new era of automation in molecular diagnostics’, Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics, 17(2), pp. 167–180. doi: 10.1080/14737159.2017.1275962.
  7. Melanson SE, Lindeman NI, Jarolim P. Selecting automation for the clinical chemistry laboratory. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2007;131(7):1063-1069.
  8. Streitberg GS, Angel L, Sikaris KA, et al. Automation in clinical biochemistry: core, peripheral, STAT, and specialist laboratories in Australia. J Lab Autom. 2012;17(5): 387-394.
  9. Zaninotto M, Plebani M. The ‘hospital central laboratory’: automation, integration and clinical usefulness. Clin Chem Lab Med. 2010;48(7):911-917.