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Deal signed for developing rapid point-of-care test for West Nile virus


Toronto, ON May 9, 2003 Spectral Diagnostics says it has signed a licensing agreement with the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta to develop a rapid point-of-care test for West Nile virus infection.

West Nile virus is spread to humans via mosquitoes and blood transfusion. There have been over 300 confirmed deaths in North America in the last year alone from it, and an estimated 500,000 suspected cases. Spectral says it intends to produce a diagnostic test that will produce results in minutes, enabling the identification of local outbreaks, ruling out exposure to the infection, and the initiation of treatment.

Under the licensing agreement, CDC will provide Spectral with reagents, consisting of antibodies, antigens, and scientific support in exchange for future royalties on in-market sales. Spectral plans to utilize its expertise in point-of-care diagnostics to develop a test on its existing STATus platform, as well as its finger-prick-based microfluidic platforms.

Spectral develops technologies for comprehensive disease management, focussing on accurate and timely information to clinicians enabling the early initiation of appropriate and targeted therapy. Some of its other products include rapid format tests measuring markers of myocardial infarction and rapid diagnostics for sepsis.