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4th November 2014  Content supplied by: Accelerate Diagnostics

CDC and Accelerate Diag. Collaborate on Antibiotic-Resistant Biothreat Agents

Accelerate Diagnostics, Inc. an in vitro diagnostics company dedicated to providing solutions for the global challenge of drug resistant organisms, today announced that it has entered into a research collaboration with the Rapid Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing Laboratory at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop tests for the rapid analysis of antibiotic-resistant biothreat agents based on Accelerate's high-speed identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing platform.

Bacterial, biothreat agents and diseases such as anthrax, tularemia and plague pose significant national security and public health risks. While infections with these pathogens are rare in the United States, they can be disseminated or transmitted from person-to-person and result in high mortality rates. They therefore require special public health preparedness and surveillance so that any potential biothreat activity or disease outbreaks can be rapidly identified and contained. Early detection, isolation and treatment with effective antibiotics are critical to cure patients and limit the spread of disease.

Unfortunately, conventional testing methods available in hospital and public health labs can take several days to produce results. These methods are therefore unable to provide critical, time sensitive information to the healthcare community, denying caregivers the opportunity to manage infection and prevent outbreaks at the earliest stage.

Accelerate Diagnostics is developing a fully integrated, easy-to-use platform that provides high-speed identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing of pathogens, working directly from patient samples. The platform enables laboratories to provide critical microbiology results in hours instead of days.

As part of the collaboration with the CDC laboratory, Accelerate Diagnostics will use its expertise to develop assays for rapid identification of key bacterial biothreat agents, their virulence markers, and their antibiotic susceptibility and resistance profiles. The CDC will provide scientific expertise on the microbiology and molecular biology of biothreat agents, and will evaluate and optimize the performance of the platform, using its collection of biothreat agents. As part of the agreement, the CDC has purchased the Accelerate ID/AST platform for use in their laboratory.

"Early detection of highly infectious bacteria, including biothreat agents, and determination of their susceptibility to specific antibiotics are essential for patient management and protection of public health," said Larry Mehren, CEO of Accelerate Diagnostics. "We are honored and highly motivated to be working with the CDC on this critical public health and national security project."

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Date Published: 4th November 2014

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