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Cepheid Discloses Further Terms of HIV Test Pact with FIND

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Cepheid today formally announced a collaboration with the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics to co-develop a molecular test for measuring HIV viral load.

The company originally disclosed the collaboration during Cepheid's fourth-quarter and full-year 2010 earnings conference call last week. Today's announcement provides further details about the deal.

Under the terms of the agreement, FIND will provide $5 million to develop the Xpert HIV viral load test to run on Cepheid's GeneXpert platform. The funding will be spread across the life of the project with the first payment to be made during the first quarter of 2011 and the final payment to be made during the first quarter of 2013.

The test would complement the Xpert MTB/RIF test for tuberculosis and drug resistance, Cepheid said.

Upon commercialization, FIND has the rights to sell the test, as well as Cepheid's Xpert chlamydia and gonorrhea tests, which will be sold at a discount to the public and to the not-for-profit sector in some countries. The chlamydia and gonorrhea tests are currently under development at Cepheid.

In a statement, Cepheid said that the deal is expected to bring rapid molecular testing for TB, HIV, and STDs "using a single instrument in some of the most challenging geographies across the globe."

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