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Tyrian, Becton Dickinson End POC TB Dx Partnership

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Australian firm Tyrian Diagnostics said today that it has discontinued its collaboration with Becton Dickinson to develop a point-of-care diagnostic for active tuberculosis, as neither firm was able to consistently detect Tyrian's lead protein biomarker in clinical samples at high enough sensitivity and specificity levels.

Tyrian and BD entered into a collaboration and licensing deal in July 2007 to develop and commercialize TB diagnostic tests based upon biomarkers discovered by Tyrian.

In January, Tyrian said that its lead marker had been detected in clinical strains of the bacteria responsible for TB and in clinical sputum samples. However, it was unable to detect the marker at the desired levels of sensitivity and specificity.

In May, Tyrian gave BD the rights to conduct further studies using its proprietary technology in an effort to reach sensitivity and specificity levels that would enable development of a point-of-care diagnostic. Tyrian said today that BD was also unable to do so.

"We acknowledge further advances in the available technology are required for the development of a sensitive five-minute test to detect active TB," Tyrian CEO Jenny Harry said in a statement.

Tyrian is now working with Barry Kreiswirth, director of the Public Health Research Institute TB Center at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School, to validate its lead biomarker and create a sputum-based assay using existing molecular technology, the company said.

This is the second diagnostic development deal nixed by BD in the past month. In September, BD declined an exclusive option to license a rapid bacterial diagnostic system from Accelr8.

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