A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Quidel (San Diego), a provider of rapid point-of-care (POC) diagnostic tests, reported an exclusive partnership to provide Roche Pharma (Basel, Switzerland) with the QuickVue Influenza A+B rapid diagnostic test for its marketing and selling activities along with its Tamiflu (Oseltamivir) antiviral for the 2007-2008 influenza season in Germany.

The company said the agreement will increase the speed of the QuickVue rapid test to help characterize influenza infection, along with the Tamiflu treatment to improve patient recovery time.

On average, anywhere between 10% to 20% of a given population in Germany will get the flu, resulting in 10,000 to 20,000 hospitalizations.

The QuickVue brand Influenza tests are designed to aid in the rapid diagnosis of influenza infection, which can lead to earlier treatment. A new flu virus comes around every winter, infecting people of all ages and causing lost days from school and work. In the late fall and winter, flu outbreaks can begin suddenly, and can spread quickly through local communities.

In other agreements news:

  • Beckman Coulter (Fullerton, California), a manufacturer of diagnostics instruments, reported it has been awarded a sole-source agreement with Alverno Clinical Laboratories (Hammond, Indiana) to provide a full range of hematology analyzers and supplies.
    Alverno is expected to purchase about $10 million worth of equipment and supplies over the life of the contract. This contract covers all locations, including some that were recently added to the group through mergers with Provena Health and the Sisters of St. Francis Health Services. These locations will replace existing systems with Beckman Coulter products to achieve standardization of testing platforms throughout the network.
    Alverno offers integrated laboratory services provided jointly sponsored by Sisters of St. Francis Health Services (Kankakee, Illinois) and Provena Health (Mokena, Illinois), with 18 hospitals and four laboratories in Illinois and Indiana.
    The companies said they believe that the integration will enable their laboratory organization to provide a higher quality of laboratory science and service and to compete better in the future. When operations are fully integrated, the network will serve 18 hospitals in Illinois and Indiana, and dozens of clinics and health centers, approaching a volume of 10 million tests annually.
  • Aethlon Medical (San Diego) reported it will initiate research studies to test the in vitro effectiveness of the Aethlon Hemopurifier to capture H5N1 Avian Influenza. Testing of the Hemopurifier will be conducted through collaborations with researchers at Commonwealth Biotechnologies (CBI) and Battelle Biomedical Research Center (both Columbus, Ohio).
    Both organizations are approved by the Department of Health and Human Services under the Select Agent Programs of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to carry out studies on highly pathogenic avian influenza. At present, H5N1 Avian Influenza does not pass efficiently in human-to-human transmissions. However, it is feared the virus, whose mortality rate in infected humans exceeds 60%, will evolve to spark a global pandemic. Scientific publications attribute high mortality rates to evidence of H5N1 spreading through the bloodstream to organs and other regions of the body not normally affected by influenza viruses.
    Battelle is an independent research and development organization. The CBI group of companies offers research and development products and services to the life sciences industry.

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