RNS Number : 4486V
Epistem Holdings plc
18 April 2016
RNS Press Release
For release: 18 April 2016
Epistem Begins Full Commercial Launch for Genedrive® Tuberculosis Tests in India
Genedrive® Enables Early Detection of TB and Antibiotic Resistance Without Need for Central Laboratory Facilities
Epistem Holdings Plc (LSE: EHP), the molecular diagnostics, personalised medicine and biotechnology company, announces today that alongside its Indian commercialisation partner, Xcelris Labs, the Company has begun the full commercial launch for its Genedrive® tuberculosis (TB) and antibiotic resistance test.
Xcelris Labs, one of India's leading genomics products and services testing companies, initially intends to target Genedrive® at the country's approximately 5,000 private clinical laboratories to provide rapid point-of-care molecular identification and antibiotic resistance/drug susceptibility testing for TB. This accepted PCR based molecular diagnostic technique has generally only been available through selected large hospital central laboratory settings. Genedrive®'s low system cost, ease of use and robustness has the potential to greatly increase the wider adoption and availablility of sophisticated molecular diagnostic analysis and consequently patients' access to testing in India.
David Budd, CEO of Epistem, commented "Full commercial TB launch in India is an important next step in the commercialisation of Genedrive®. For the majority of patients who cannot access large reference hospitals and clinics, TB testing in India currently relies on conventional technologies such as microscopy and cell culture to detect infection and determine the most appropriate treatment. Genedrive® offers the ability to detect infection and antibiotic resistance in hours rather than days with important implications for more immediate and effective treatment, and the prevention of spread of infection. The target pricing of Genedrive® and TB test cartridges makes our product an attractive commercial and clinical alternative to traditional diagnostic techniques."
Milina Bose, Executive Director and Vice President of Xcelris said "There are more than 30 million smear microscopy tests conducted in India a year with many carried out in smaller and medium sized private laboratories. Our commercial teams are very excited to now be commercialising Genedrive® and will initally be marketing the system and assays to laboratories outside of the traditional public facilities where molecular TB testing now occurs. We believe that providing these laboratories with the ability to carry out molecular testing with Genedrive® will be very attractive to them and impact positively on patient treatment options in India."
- Ends -
For further details please contact:
Epistem Holdings Plc
David Budd: CEO +44 (0)161 606 7258
John Rylands: Finance Director
Peel Hunt LLP
James Steel +44 (0)207 418 8900
Consilium Strategic Communications
Chris Gardner +44 (0)203 709 5700
Notes to Editors
Tuberculosis is the largest single infectious cause of death among young people and adults today and accounts for one quarter of all preventable adult deaths in developing countries. There were 9.6m new cases in 2014. TB can be treated with antibiotics with an 80% success rate but conventional diagnosis for TB is time consuming reliant on older tools. New molecular test approaches are the fastest growing segment in TB testing but existing technologies are not designed to reach out of large hospitals to smaller laboratories where most tests are currently run. Genedrive®'s low cost, speed-to-result, small size and robustness has the potential to extend access to sophisticated molecular testing outside a centralised laboratory setting.
Epistem is a personalised medicine and biotechnology company developing innovative molecular diagnostics and biomarkers alongside providing contract research services to drug development companies. Epistem's Genedrive® is a next-generation Point of Care molecular diagnostic system providing a low cost, rapid, versatile, simple to use and robust diagnostics platform for the diagnosis of infectious diseases and for use in patient stratification (genotyping), pathogen detection and other indications. Genedrive® aims to provide a 'gold standard' identification of Tuberculosis & antibiotic resistance. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has publicly recommended that nations incorporate new rapid and molecular tests for Tuberculosis into their disease testing programs. The Genedrive® platform and its first Tuberculosis test is now being prepared for launch in India and the Indian sub-continent. Further details can be found at: www.epistem.co.uk and www.genedrive.com
Xcelris Genomics is part of the global Abellon business group with interests in diverse areas including clean energy, agrisciences, and genomics, as well as various initiatives in education and social development. Throughout India, Xcelris is a leading company in Genomics products and services and is providing diagnostic testing services in the specialised field of Medical Genetics and Nutrigenomics.
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