TB test could revolutionize care: WHO
Last Updated: Wednesday, September 1, 2010 | 4:41 PM ET Comments10Recommend13The Associated Press
A Cepheid Xpert MTB/RIF cartridge, part of a test that is a major advance in diagnosing tuberculosis and can reveal in less than two hours, with very high accuracy, whether someone has the disease and if it's resistant to the main drug for treating it. (Cepheid/Associated Press) A new test can reveal in less than two hours, with very high accuracy, whether someone has tuberculosis and if it's resistant to the main drug for treating it, scientists have found.
The test could revolutionize TB care and replace the 125-year-old process used now, which is slow and misses more than half of all cases, experts say.
A better test would be a powerful tool to curb TB in poor countries, where most people spread the lung disease before they are diagnosed and treated, and many don't return for follow-up doctor visits to get test results.
"You can tell the patient before they leave the office if they have TB and if it's drug-resistant. It's transformational," said Dr. Peter Small, head of TB programs at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which helped fund the work, along with the U.S. government.
The World Health Organization will meet with experts over the next few days to review results and plan steps forward, says a statement from one of its TB experts, Dr. Mario Raviglione.
The new test costs about $63 US
Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2010/09/01/tb-test-diagnostic.html#ixzz17jUbDZky
The fact that there is a test available now for $17 is not cost effective to save a life?
So I guess the world will wait for the handheld to be built,sent to production and a study on human patients to be completed before
it will be implemented.
I'm saying yours costs to much. Common sense. These test are not performed now because of the costs. Showing up with a $17 test, not going to change the game much in my GENIUS opinion. Deep down you probably understand this, just cannot accept it. Wish your company all the luck, I bet very few here attack your message board, rentlessly.
I think we can figure out now, why the bashers persist with this stock, in hopes of driving down the share price or keeping it lower, in hopes of delaying any advancements here. They clearly understand the threat of our product and equally understand that a lower share price means slower advancement. I always thought they were bozos who got burned on Biel, but now it looks like they are plants from Cephid or investors with that company.
The timing of this release? Desperation or calculated? Costs are everything here and even at $17 a pop, positive or negative, this will only benefit maybe 1/100 of any 3rd world nation. Meaning if you have an ox to spare in lew of payment. Maybe Cephid can tie it in with an info commercial for $17 a week, you can help test for TB. Not mentioning that they will need 300 contributors to pay for the equipment first.
I see this a salute to how much closer our product is to reality for making a difference.
They have the equipment at this time
to sell. Where is BMGP at this point? They just completed a newer version of a 2nd benchtop and the handheld has no date to start production and the assays have a laboratory accuracy rate that has not been verified on human subjects.
You call that bashing? I have stated that this technology could make BMGP a global player but the clock is ticking. Well the clock is ticking for well over a year and BMGP is not in the lead.
I don't mean to feed trolls but the specificity, cost, and time to test are all in BMGPs favor here. If this device beats the ROB to market then there may be an issue, but the superior product should stand up. We'll see if they put out a PR like that after this meeting.
The new test costs about $63 US there, but the company has agreed to provide it for less than half that in poor countries, said John Bishop, Cepheid's chief executive officer.
The machine costs around $30,000 US, but would be priced under $20,000 US in poor countries, he said.
While the cost per test is higher, it doesn't take a sophisticated lab to do the test, so the overall cost may be lower, Bishop said. It also tells the diagnosis and drug resistance for that price.
The microscope-sample method costs a few dollars, plus $15 US for drug-resistance testing, said Small of the Gates Foundation. He agreed that the new test may be viewed as more cost-effective because it's more accurate, fast and gives more information.
"These results suggest that it has the potential to revolutionize TB care, and WHO will treat it as a top priority," the statement says.
A study of the test was published online Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine.
TB kills about 1.8 million people a year and increasingly is caused by bacteria that are resistant to one or more drugs. The best test — growing the bacteria in a lab dish from a mucus sample — takes a week or more, so the most common approach is to look for bacteria in a sample under a microscope.
Little training needed
That misses many cases, tells nothing about drug resistance, and doesn't usually give an answer before a patient leaves the clinic.
The government set out to develop a better test with a host of partners:
Cepheid, a California-based diagnostics company.
The University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey.
The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, a Swiss-based nonprofit group supported by the Gates Foundation.
The test they devised is simple enough to be done with minimal training. It requires only 15 minutes of manual labour, for taking the mucus sample, mixing it with chemicals and putting it in an inkjet-like cartridge that goes into a machine.
The machine amplifies the DNA in the sample and checks for bits of bacterial genes, a process that takes less than two hours.
The study tried it on 1,730 patients with suspected TB in Peru, Azerbaijan, South Africa and India. The test successfully identified 98 per cent of all confirmed TB cases and 98 per cent of ones resistant to rifampin, one of the top drugs to treat the disease.
It correctly picked out nearly three-quarters of TB cases that were mistakenly declared negative from the microscope exam. And it accurately ruled out TB in 99 per cent of people who did not have it.
Besides WHO endorsement, Cepheid will seek U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the test, which went on sale late last year in Europe.
Further study is under way to see if the test can reveal multi-drug-resistant strains. If TB is resistant to rifampin, it's likely resistant to other drugs, but this needs to be proved, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Testing for TB in someone who has symptoms is not the same as the TB screening skin tests that many people get. The skin test just shows whether someone has been exposed to TB at some time, and may warrant further testing to ensure they don't have a latent case.
© The Canadian Press, 2010
Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2010/09/01/tb-test-diagnostic.html#ixzz17jW9fP5q