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Response Biomedical Regains Rights to Flu, RSV Tests after Termination of 3M Deal

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Response Biomedical said today that as a result of the termination of a collaboration with 3M and 3M Innovative Properties, it has regained the worldwide rights to Flu A+B and respiratory syncytial virus products.

The termination with 3M includes agreements for the joint development, supply, and distribution of Response Bio's products based on its Ramp diagnostic platform. The Vancouver, British Columbia-based diagnostics firm also acquires 3M's entire stock of Ramp readers and peripheral devices, assignment of its distributor network, and all marketing materials used by 3M for the marketing and sale of Response Bio's products.

"We firmly believe that there remains a significant need for rapid point-of-care tests for Influenza A+B to ensure prompt diagnosis," Tim Shannon, Response Bio's senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing, said in a statement. "This is a market we will continue to actively pursue as it represents a solid growth area for the company."

The firm's Flu A+B and RSV tests run on the Ramp 200 Reader platform, which requires under three minutes of preparation time to detect positive and negative results within 15 minutes that are directly correlated with the presence or absence of RSV or Flu A+B antigen, the company said.

In 2004 3M funded the development of a rapid point-of-care test for infection prevention based on the Ramp technology. In December 2006, 3M through its Medical Division, reached an exclusive commercialization deal with Response Bio targeting hospitals and community-acquired infections with the Ramp platform. 3M invested $8 million into Response Bio as part of the deal.

In September 2010, though, 3M opted not to continue developing a next-generation Flu A+B product, causing Response Bio to restructure its operations. As part of the restructuring, Response Bio said it would focus its efforts on its partnership with Roche Diagnostics and other distributors to grow its cardiovascular testing business.

Last year, however, Roche ended a sales and distribution deal with Response Bio after the US Food and Drug Administration declined to clear Response Bio's cardiovascular tests on the Ramp 200.