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Cepheid, US DoD, Walter Reed to Develop RT-PCR Assay for Leishmaniasis

NEW YORK, April 26 (GenomeWeb News) - Cepheid and the US Department of Defense/Walter Reed Army Institute of Research intend to co-develop a Real-Time PCR reagent to detect Leishmaniasis in the field, the company said today.


Cepheid said the test will be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and will be "IVD-quality." It will use the company's bead technology and run off Cepheid's SmartCycler system. The test will be available to US troops "late this year," the company said.


The RT-PCR test is expected to deliver results in one hour after DNA extraction, compared with the two to three weeks for culture-based tests, according to Cepheid.


The Leishmaniasis project is being produced as part of Cepheid's Customer Specific Reagent program, in which Cepheid processes reagents developed by customers.

Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease caused by sand fly bites that has affected nearly 1,000 military personnel during the current war in
Iraq, Cepheid said.

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