GSK and Enigma Pair Up to Develop Influenza Diagnostics

influenza-smallGlaxoSmithKline and Enigma Diagnostics have agreed to develop a rapid influenza diagnostic test based on Enigma’s Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology platform. The new test would analyze swab samples and return an accurate diagnosis in less than 60 minutes at the point of care. Patients could be tested for specific flu subtypes, allowing them to quickly receive the most appropriate treatment. With current flu tests, it can take several days for the results to come in. The new test would be have the same accuracy standards as reference laboratories.

In PCR technology, a limited sample of target DNA is amplified to create millions of copies of the specific DNA sequence, making it easier to identify a particular flu strain. A rapid diagnostic tool would enable health workers to track and fight the flu virus as it evolves. Both GSK and Enigma believe that the PCR platform could also play a key role in other areas such as infectious disease management.

GSK  is a global pharmaceutical company that recently made news for its progress in developing a swine flu vaccine. BusinessWeek reports that the Brentford, England-based company has already received 195 million orders for its new flu vaccine, which went into production last month. Enigma Diagnostics of Salisbury, England, develops rapid molecular diagnostic technology platforms. The company already has licenses from Applied Biosystems and Celera Diagnostics for the commercialization of PCR technology.

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