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Abbott, GenLab Developing Molecular Assay for Orthopedic Infections

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Abbott today announced a deal with Genetics Laboratory to develop and commercialize an assay for the detection of infections in bones and joints.

The assay will be developed for use on Abbott's Plex-ID automated platform for the identification of microbes. The platform is intended for non-diagnostic use only in the US, but assays are being developed for future clinical diagnostic purposes, Abbott said.

The Plex-ID platform combines PCR and mass spectrometry to analyze known and unknown organisms. It also can provide information on drug resistance, virulence, and strain type, and can generate results in five to six hours, compared to other methods which can take several days for positive identification, said Abbott.

"A molecular diagnostic test designed to detect microorganisms that cause orthopedic infections, running on the Plex-ID, could have the ability to determine which pathogens are responsible for an infection while assessing the genetic composition and potentially antibiotic resistance," Gerhard Maale, an orthopedic surgeon and expert in orthopedic infections who will serve as medical director for the Abbott-GenLab partnership, said in a statement.

"This could be a major step forward in diagnosing and treating serious infections in artificial joint recipients, with the potential to provide important information to physicians that they could use to save treatment costs and improve the quality of life for these patients," he said.

Citing a study, Abbott said that complications resulting from infections occur in about 2 percent of the 800,000 knee and hip replacement procedures performed in the US annually. Also, more than 70,000 joint revisions are performed in the US each year, with more than 15 percent of hip revisions and 25 percent of knee revisions caused by infections.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

GenLab is based in Dallas and specializes in acquiring, managing, and delivering clinical specimens.

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