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Novacyt Validating Cervical Cancer Screening Prep with Abbott HPV test

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – European sample prep firm Novacyt has announced it will validate its Novaprep liquid-based cytology platform with an assay for high-risk human papillomavirus from Abbott.

Abbott and Novacyt will collaborate to systematically validate Novaprep's performance compared to storage vials used by competing liquid-based cytology systems for Abbott's RealTime High Risk HPV assay.

In June, Novacyt launched a molecular HPV testing service from its labs in Cambridge, UK, using Abbott's assay.

The firms will now seek to demonstrate whether the quality of cervical cancer sample preparation and preserved cell storage are critical to the performance of HPV testing, and will publish results from the validation in coming months.

Novaprep is part of the Novacyt automated processing system to select cells of interest and display them on glass slides, according to the firm's website.

"There is a critical need for a good quality sample preparation and storage system which can be universally used in the market for HPV testing across multiple HPV testing platforms," Novacyt CEO Graham Mullis said in a statement. The Abbott collaboration is "an example of major expansion opportunities that exist for Novacyt to develop other potential strategic partnerships with HPV platform providers," he added.

Mullis was previously CEO of Lab21 and became head of Novacyt when the two firms merged last year.

The company, which also has headquarters in Paris, recently raised €2 million ($2.2 million) in private financing to further automate the Novaprep system and to support introduction of a reagent rental policy.