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Study Finds Nanosphere's Gram-Positive Blood Culture Test Reduces Hospital Costs, Treatment Time

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Using Nanosphere's Gram-Positive Blood Culture microarray test could result in reductions in healthcare costs and lengths of hospital stays, as well as the amount of time it takes for patients with bloodstream infections to receive effective antiobiotic treatment.

A team at the University of Florida Health Jacksonville recently evaluated Nanosphere's BC-GP Test and highlighted its findings in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

UF Health Jacksonville compared the treatment of patients with enterococcal bacteremia during a period when it was using a conventional blood culturing approach with its treatment of patients after the center had adopted Nanosphere's test.

Based on this comparison, they reported an average per patient reduction in hospital length of stay of 21.7 days, as well as average savings of $60,729 in hospital costs.

The UF Healthcare Jacksonville team also reported a 23.4 hour decrease in the average amount of time it took for patients to receive appropriate treatment, and a 31.1 hour reduction time for patients with vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus bacteremia to receive a proper treatment.

"Microarray technology, supported by pharmacy and microbiology departments, can decrease time to appropriate antimicrobial therapy, hospital length-of-stay, and healthcare costs," the authors wrote in the paper.

Nanosphere CEO Michael McGarrity told BioArray News that the study's findings "greatly enhance the body of support for the clinical and economic value" of the BC-GP Test. He said that the test equips "antimicrobial stewardship teams with the information they need to recommend the best course of treatment for their patients."

Nanosphere hopes to benefit from the increased exposure that studies like the one in JCM can provide. A team at the Medical College of Wisconsin published a similar evaluation of the GP-BC Test in June (BAN 7/13/2013).

At the same time, though the US Food and Drug Administration cleared the BC-GP Test for clinical use last year, the firm's management said during its first-quarter earnings call that it has "taken longer than initially anticipated" for first adopters to validate and implement the test (BAN 5/13/2013).

Nanosphere's test enables the detection of antibiotic resistance in 12 organisms known to cause blood infections and sepsis and three antibiotic resistance markers. The arrays are contained within cartridges and processed from sample to answer using the Northbrook, Ill.-based firm's Verigene System.

During a talk last week at Craig-Hallum's Annual Alpha Select Conference in New York, McGarrity said that Nanosphere has about 150 customers in the US who currently use the BC-GP Test. He also cited a recent US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report on antibiotic and antimicrobial resistance as further support for the adoption of the BC-GP Test.

Specifically, he highlighted two recommendations made in the report: to improve antibiotic use and stewardship, and to develop new drugs and diagnostics.

"Improving antibiotic stewardship and addressing the problem of antibiotic-resistant infections is a significant need," McGarrity told BioArray News this week. "We provide a diagnostic solution that aids our customers in this critical effort."

Increased adoption of the BC-GP Test may encourage adoption of Nanosphere's other tests, McGarrity suggested. He said at the investor conference that "about 80 to 90 percent" of the firm's GP-BC customers intend to adopt the firm's Gram-Negative Blood Culture Test when it becomes available for clinical use.

According to McGarrity, the BC-GN Test has been submitted to the FDA and is currently under review.

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