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Novartis Diagnostics Partners with Indian State for Nucleic Acid Testing of Blood Supply

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Novartis Diagnostics has partnered with the Indian Karnataka state government to adopt nucleic acid testing to improve the safety of the state's blood supply.

As a result of the deal, the Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital will become the first hospital in Karnataka to launch a nucleic acid testing facility to screen donated blood for HIV and hepatitis viruses. Novartis said that the agreement marks the first time that an Indian state has adopted such testing for donated blood.

The hospital will assess yields of infected blood donations by conducting a one-year pilot study using both traditional serology tests and nucleic acid testing. Novartis will supply its Procleix Ultrio Assay, which is manufactured by Gen-Probe, to the effort. The assay enables high sensitivity detection of HIV-1, hepatitis C, and hepatitis B in a single tube, the company said.

Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Novartis noted that many governments in emerging markets are using nucleic acid testing to safeguard their blood supplies. It added that 60 percent of the 90 million units of blood donated worldwide each year is screened using nucleic acid testing technologies.

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