International Murex Technologies Corp. said Wednesday that ithas launched a hepatitis B test that utilizes color-codedreagents that show color changes at each step of the testingprocess.

Marketed to clinical laboratories and blood banks, the test isavailable in 15 countries, and International Murex (ASE:MXX)of Norcross, Ga., plans to introduce it in four other countries inthe next few months. It will initially be marketed outside theU.S. and Japan.

The hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAG) enzyme immunoassaytest uses a combination of polyclonal and monoclonalantibodies to detect the widest range of hepatitis B surfaceantigen types. The unique feature of the test is the color-codedreagents, which the company said confirms that both thesamples and necessary reagents have been added, thusreducing the potential for omitting or repeating a procedure.

The company said that in European clinical trials involving over12,000 specimens at 11 test sites, the test had a specificity ofalmost 90 percent and excellent sensitivity. -- BrendaSandburg

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