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ABI to Supply HIV Genotyping Kits to Brazil

NEW YORK, May 2 - Applied Biosystems said Tuesday it had agreed to supply its ViroSeq HIV-1 Genotyping Kits to Brazil’s National Ministry of Health, which will use the system to study the effectiveness of conducting genotyping in the clinic.

The one-year study, which is being partially funded by the World Bank, will run 6,000 tests on HIV-positive patients who have previously failed to respond to a drug regimen known as the Highly Active AntiRetroviral Therapy.

Applied Biosystems said it would lease 12 ABI PRISM 3100 Genetic Analyzers, which will be used to perform the HIV-1 genotyping. Researchers will be looking to determine factors that relate to drug resistance in the HIV-1 virus genome.

"We believe that genotyping may be a useful tool in identifying drug resistance in the HIV-1 genome," Michael Hunkapiller, president of Applied Biosystems, said in a statement.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Applied Biosystems is currently conducting clinical trials in the US as it prepares to seek FDA approval for the system. If the FDA grants approval, Brazil’s Health Ministry could then approve the sale of the ViroSeq system to private laboratories in Brazil.

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