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Novartis Deal to Evaluate Accelr8's BACcel Platform Expires Without Further Extension

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – A technology evaluation agreement between Accelr8 Technology and Novartis has expired without further extension by Novartis, Accler8 said today.

As a result, Accelr8 will be able to negotiate with other firms for its BACcel system.

The agreement between Accelr8 and Novartis began in June 2010 and expired on Sept. 30, 2011, after a series of extensions. The final extension gave Novartis the option to continue evaluating the BACcel system through Jan. 2, 2012.

With evaluation of the system ended, Accelr8 said, "discussion has now shifted to searching within Novartis for funding vehicles."

The BACcel system is a rapid bacterial diagnostics system that, according to the firm, can identify bacteria within two hours and their major resistance mechanisms within six hours. The firm has been working on tests for antibiotic resistance detection.

David Howson, president of Accelr8, said in a statement that a recent reorganization in the Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics business has "delayed project decisions until the reorganization is completed." He added that Accelr8 is on a "rapid development path. To maintain momentum we are taking direct action to develop additional paths to finish the product development."

The company said it has been in discussions with other firms for "BACcel applications that complement clinical diagnostics, such as pharma development," and is now starting discussions with clinical diagnostic companies.

Howson said that Accelr8 continues to work with Novartis on studies with gram-negative organisms that express broad-spectrum resistance. "[W]e expect a corporate update from Novartis before Thanksgiving," he added.