Response Biomedical and 3M Medical Division Initiate Development of Rapid Staph A Test


VANCOUVER -- Response Biomedical Corp. today announced that it has completed a second major milestone in an exclusive co-development agreement with 3M Medical Division. This milestone marks the completion of a key pre-clinical milestone in the development of a new rapid test for detecting Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), the leading cause of hospital-acquired infections. 3M is funding the development program, overseeing clinical trials and managing the regulatory affairs process. Pursuant to this agreement, the parties are entering negotiations for a supply agreement.

S. aureus is a bacteria that is commonly found on the skin and causes a variety of serious clinical infections including bloodstream infections, surgical wound infections, and pneumonia. In the U.S. alone, it contributes to nearly 12,000 deaths and adds an extra $9.5 billion to U.S. healthcare costs each year.

"We are pleased with the technical performance of this clinical infectious disease test that could improve the outcome of patients entering the hospital system," said Bill Radvak, president and CEO. "Additionally, given lessons learned from the SARS outbreak, the current epidemic of avian flu among birds, and broad consensus among leading public health experts internationally that an influenza pandemic is likely, the company is making a long-term commitment to commercialize additional rapid infectious disease tests to enable early containment and treatment."

Conventional diagnosis of infectious diseases is time intensive, and prohibits immediate intervention and early treatment. Current testing requires the culturing of the suspect bacteria which takes on average 24 hours. Rapid clinical infectious disease testing is expected to improve patient outcomes by enabling physicians to make informed medical decisions within approximately 20 minutes from initiating testing.

In the largest study of its kind, published in the Aug. 8, 2005 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine and largely funded by 3M, researchers estimate that S. aureus infections resulted in a three-fold increase in length of stay in hospitals, and five times the risk of death in hospitals. Among all invasive cardiovascular, orthopedic or neurosurgical stays, studies confirm the difference in length of stay was 16.6 days and additional healthcare cost of $68,944. According to the CDC, more than 2 million patients each year in the U.S. contract an infection as a result of receiving healthcare in a hospital. Within the nation's 7,000 acute care hospitals, S. aureus is one of the three leading causes of hospital-based bloodstream infections with a mortality rate of 25 percent.

Source: 3M Health Care


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