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Quidel Licenses U of Colorado's MChip for Point-of-Care Flu Testing

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Diagnostic test provider Quidel said last week that it has signed an exclusive, worldwide license for the MChip microarray-based influenza detection technology developed by scientists at the University of Colorado and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The company said it plans to develop and market molecular-based diagnostic tests based on the MChip for use in pandemic surveillance, as a tool for clinical labs, and for point-of-care use in physicians’ offices.
According to Quidel, the MChip offers several advantages over other array-based influenza tests, which typically use sequences from three influenza genes -- hemagglutinin, neuraminidase, and matrix. The MChip only uses sequences from the matrix genes, which are more conserved than the quickly mutating hemagglutinin and neuraminidase genes.
“A diagnostic test based on this relatively stable gene segment should be more robust because it will continue to provide accurate results … and will require less frequent reconfiguration,” Quidel said. The company said that the MChip is also able to simultaneously type and subtype the flu virus in a single procedure.
In validation studies conducted with the CDC, the University of Colorado has so far correctly identified 24 different H5N1 flu strains with 97 percent sensitivity, 100 percent specificity, and no reported false positives, Quidel said.
Caren Mason, president and CEO of Quidel, said in a statement that the agreement “strategically positions” the firm “with an important technology and tool in the molecular diagnostic field."

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