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Rapid diagnostic tests the target of $12M technology partnership


Toronto, ON – March 30, 2004 – Spectral Diagnostics and IDx have announced the launch of a $12-million three-year joint research and development project to develop and deliver a novel family of rapid diagnostic tests. The project is targeted at bringing forward rapid diagnostic tests for infectious diseases, including West Nile Virus.

The total project cost will be supported by a $3.9 million investment by Technology Partnerships Canada, a special operating agency of Industry Canada.

An assay capable of identifying a patient’s exposure to the West Nile Virus within 15 minutes would be an important step forward in managing individual patients, as well as identifying outbreaks of the disease. Research for the new products will include pre-commercialization and manufacturing scale-up. Clinical and regulatory submissions for the project will be managed jointly by Spectral and IDx.

“We are very pleased to have this support from TPC, enabling us to bring new technologies to market rapidly, on a cost effective basis," says Dr Paul Walker, president and CEO of Spectral. "These new technologies fit very well with Spectral’s strategic plan to provide rapid diagnostics where they can be most useful in directing a patient’s care, and to deliver them to market by making use of our current channels of distribution.”

Spectral develops technologies for comprehensive disease management including rapid format tests measuring markers of myocardial infarction. Idx is a private corporation owned by Spectral and a group of investors led by the Canadian Medical Discoveries Fund. Its focus is on the research and development of innovative, rapid, diagnostic assays for certain infectious diseases.