BD and FIND Announce Expanded Collaboration to Improve Tuberculosis Diagnostics Worldwide

BD and FIND announce expanded collaboration to improve tuberculosis diagnostics worldwide. (PRNewsFoto/Becton, Dickinson and Company)
FRANKLINLAKES, N.J., and GENEVA BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company, and FIND (Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics) today announced an expanded collaboration toward improving the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB).

Building on their two-year relationship to improve access to diagnostics in the developing world, BD and FIND formed this new collaboration in response to the emergence in many countries of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB). In September of 2006, the World Health Organization issued an alert about the threat of XDR-TB and called for the strengthening of TB control worldwide. Rapid, accurate diagnosis of TB will reduce the time spent on inappropriate and ineffective patient treatment, which can lead to further drug resistance.

"The state of laboratories and lack of clear pathways for the successful introduction of new diagnostic tools into the public health sectors remain major obstacles to the uptake of new technology in many high-burden countries. This is why we also need to focus on improving the laboratory infrastructure in these regions to ensure the successful introduction of new diagnostic tools," said FIND chief executive officer, Dr. Giorgio Roscigno. "Our longstanding relationship and new expanded collaboration with BD enable us to address these core issues with even more vigor."

"For more than 100 years, BD has been committed to tackling some of the world's toughest healthcare challenges, and tuberculosis is a great example," said Edward J. Ludwig, BD chairman, president and chief executive officer. "BD is pleased to expand our work with FIND to address this growing problem and to continue to fulfill our purpose of helping all people live healthy lives."

Through cash and product donations, BD will support FIND's TB program to help strengthen laboratory services in developing countries. BD's commitment includes a cash donation of $100,000 and an in-kind product, training and service donation of approximately $200,000 market value.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in three people in the world is infected with dormant TB germs (i.e. TB bacteria). Only when the bacteria become active do people become ill with TB. Bacteria can become active as a result of anything that reduces the person's immunity, such as HIV, advancing age, or specific medical conditions. TB can usually be treated with a course of four standard, or first-line, anti-TB drugs. If these drugs are misused or mismanaged, multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB can develop. MDR-TB takes longer to treat with second-line drugs, which are more expensive and have more side-effects. XDR-TB can develop when these second-line drugs are also misused or mismanaged and therefore become ineffective. XDR-TB is defined as strains which are resistant to two of the most powerful front-line drugs, as well as at least two key classes of second-line drugs. Because XDR- TB is resistant to many of the first- and second-line drugs, treatment options are seriously limited.

Source: BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company)

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