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Pharma Newsletters >> Eurofins BioPharma Services Newsletter 15 - October 2016 >> Viracor-IBT and NTD partner to bring Zika Testing with fast results to more patients

Viracor-IBT and NTD partner to bring Zika Testing with fast results to more patients

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Scott Mattivi, Vice President of Clinical Lab Operations, Viracor-IBT

Zika virus was something most people had never heard of before this year. That changed early this spring when it became a common news topic as athletes started to drop out of the summer Olympics due to the outbreak in Central and South America. Travellers to these and other areas endemic to the virus began to test positive for Zika.

Zika virus is primarily spread through mosquitos and can also be spread by some forms of sexual contact. It has been linked to microcephaly in newborns and is at the forefront of concern for emerging infectious diseases. Viracor-IBT wanted to be prepared to assist its clients and patients by providing a Zika Virus Real-time RT-PCR assay with fast result turnaround time (within 8-12 hours of specimen receipt) prior to the onset of mosquito season. Viracor-IBT worked diligently with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to obtain Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA), which it received on July 19, 2016.

Viracor-IBT has a proven history of developing and validating highly sensitive, accurate assays in response to emerging public health needs, like Zika virus,” said Steve Kleiboeker, PhD, HCLD/TS/CC (ABB), Vice President of Research and Development, Viracor-IBT.

The launch of the Zika RT-PCR assay also provided an opportunity for Viracor-IBT to partner with NTD Labs, another Eurofins-owned company, to help even more patients gain access to accurate testing with quick results. NTD Labs specialises in prenatal screening and had received requests for Zika testing from its maternal foetal health physician clients. The Viracor-IBT and NTD Labs partnership is a great example of the capabilities and cross-functional synergies being developed and driven through the Eurofins network of laboratories to bring innovative, high quality testing to more patients.

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