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Epistem, Xcelris Evaluating Point-of-Need MDx Device for TB Identification

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Epistem and Xcelris today announced a collaboration to evaluate Epistem's point-of-need molecular device for the early detection of tuberculosis.

Epistem's Genedrive device will be evaluated as part of India's Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme, initiated in 1997 to ensure the rapid diagnosis and treatment of TB patients. Citing statistics from the World Health Organization, Epistem said that India has the highest number of TB sufferers in the world. Each year about 2 million people in India come down with TB with about half of the cases fatal.

Genedrive will be used to identify TB at an early stage "and given its size and capabilities lends itself to use in remote locations," Epistem said in a statement. According to the firm, the device provides molecular diagnostic testing rapidly with low cost and ease of use. In addition to TB, Genedrive also can be used for the detection of Dengue and sexually transmitted diseases, the company added.

The TB evaluation program will continue through this year. Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Manchester, UK-based Epistem is a biotech firm that develops biomarkers, diagnostics, and therapeutics. Xcelris is a genomics research and diagnostic testing firm based in India.