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Anagnostics Partners with Molzym to Develop Sepsis Chip, Adds Austrian Distributor

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This story has been updated to include comments from company executives.

Austrian array company Anagnostics Bioanalysis recently announced a deal with Molzym to develop and launch a test for sepsis.

The proposed test will pair Anagnostics' cylindrical Hybcell array platform with Molzym's SepsiTest sample prepartion kit, which is used to extract pathogens from blood samples. Anagnostics claims that the assay should take less than four hours to generate results, "improving the prognosis of septic patients."

Anagnostics is based in St. Valentin, Austria. Molzym is based in Bremen, Germany. As part of the collaboration, Anagnostics has licensed the rights to use Molzym's kit as part of its test.

If Anagnostics is successful in its effort to commercialize the planned sepsis test, the firm will compete against Helsinki-based Mobidiag, which also sells an array-based diagnostic for sepsis called Prove-it Sepsis (BAN 12/15/2009). Another competitor will be Madrid-based Genomica, which sells its CLART SeptiBac test on its Clinical Array Technology platform (BAN 2/8/2011).

Markus Jacquemar, Anagnostics' managing director of sales, marketing, amd business development, told BioArray News this week that the firm hopes to have its test CE-IVD marked by the end of the year.

Jaquemar said that Anagnostics' test differs from available offerings in several ways. The firm's assay tests whole blood without the need for a positive culture result, and relies on a combination of PCR and on-array compact sequencing to detect and quantify pathogens in the sample, he said.

Privately held Anagnostics already sells four panels for use on its Hybcell platform. Its Drugs of Abuse Saliva PlexB and Urine PlexA assays have both been CE-IVD marked, while its Drugs of Abuse Urine PlexB and Oncogenes Tissue PlaxA test for KRAS mutations are available for research use.

Christoph Reschreiter, managing director of finance at Anagnostics, told BioArray News this week that the firm's sepsis and pharmacogenomics tests are its "highest priorities" at the moment.

Another one of Anagnostics' priority projects is to develop a target enrichment approach on its Hybcell platform. The company has been working with the Central Blood Bank of Linz in Austria to develop enrichment assays (BAN 4/19/2011).

"Target enrichment is an application where we would like to establish proof of principle and that our approach is suitable for [use with the] 454 or Ion Torrent systems," said Reschreiter. He said that the next step for Anagnostics would be to approach next-generation sequencing firms to see if they would be interested in using Anagnostics' technology for sample preparation.

New Distributor

While Anagnostics readies its sepsis test for launch, the firm continues to expand its network of distributors.

The company this week said that GenXpress Service & Vertriebs will distribute its pharmacogenetics-focused assays in Austria. GenXpress is located in Weiner Neudorf, near Vienna.

Anagnostics has inked a number of similar deals over the past year, tapping Ramcon to sell its HybCell tests to customers in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden; Cell.Eng to represent it in Italy; Invicon to sell its products in Germany; and Biogenetix to represent it in the Romanian market (BAN 2/7/2012).

Reschreiter said that the firm's goal is to set up distribution in all major European markets, and that the company is close to naming partners in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.

As the company expands its presence, it also continues to work towards transferring the manufacture of its Hybcell arrays to Sony DADC. The two firms announced a partnership last fall.

Reschreiter said that, ideally, Sony will produce all the components of Anagnostics' kits within the next few years.

"Anagnostics does not see itself as a producer of kits, we see ourselves as the producer of the basic technology and methods, first products, but we will not make heavy investments in production," said Reschreiter.

"Little by little, all the [Hybcell] plastics will be produced by Sony," he said. "Our plan for next few years is to further integrate our processes, so that, at the end of the day, Sony is the producer of the Hybcell and they also handle the logistics" of distributing the kits, he said.

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