Development of the Vscan Rapid Test Kit for West Nile Virus Reaches Final Stages

EDMONTON, Alberta - In September 2002, Medical Services International Inc.announced that it had (through a related subsidiary) been granted a worldwide license by the United States Public Health Service for use of its reagents in a Rapid Diagnostic Test Kit for West Nile Virus.

Testing completed to date indicates that the company will have the finished test kit for the rapid diagnosis of the virus available by the end of March 2003, subject to regulatory approval.

The reagents (highly specific recombinant antigens) combined with the existing and proven immunoassay technology, which forms the basis of the company's entire line of VScan Diagnostic Test Kits (for HIV 1& HIV 2, Hepatitis B and C and tuberculosis) is the underlying test principle of the West Nile test kit.

This immunoassay technology has demonstrated an accuracy of 99.8 percent (VScan Serum HIV test kit). It is expected that the West Nile test kit will reach the same level of accuracy as the other VScan Test Kits.

This test kit has been developed as an aid in the diagnosis of West Nile Virus as well as a preliminary screening device for the virus. Current laboratory testing for West Nile takes several weeks before results are available.

The VScan test kit will deliver complete results in less than 20 minutes that are designed to be easy to interpret without requiring any medical or skilled personnel. In addition, the kit requires no electricity or refrigeration and can be safely stored at room temperature. A built-in control mechanism ensures the integrity of the kit.

An additional test kit, specific to West Nile Virus in animals, is under development During the development of the rapid test kit for detection of West Nile Virus in humans, the company began developing a second rapid test that detects whether animals particularly birds have the West Nile Virus. This test kit will allow testing to be done in the field and give results in 20 minutes instead of having to wait several weeks. Preliminary results have been encouraging. It is anticipated that this test kit will be available in April 2003, again subject to appropriate regulatory approval.

Medical Services International Inc. is a medically related holding company with its head office in Edmonton Alberta, Canada. The diagnostic test division was created in response to a worldwide demand for less costly, rapid, technically simplified methods to test for infectious diseases.

Source: Medical Services International Inc.

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