Cepheid partners with three drugmakers to develop diagnostic test for multidrug-resistant bacteria

Cepheid announced Thursday a collaboration with AstraZeneca, Cubist Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline to develop "a rapid diagnostic test that can target multi-drug resistant pathogens and support the appropriate use of antibiotics."

Specifically, the group is working to extend the use of Cepheid's molecular test for rapid detection of carbapenemase-producing gram-negative bacteria from rectal swabs to other body samples such as respiratory samples from patients with pneumonia. Cepheid's vice president for scientific affairs Fred Tenover noted that "once available, our Xpert Carba-R test could prove to be a valuable tool as the fight against multi-drug resistant infections intensifies."

Linda A. F. Miller, director of diagnostics and clinical microbiology for GlaxoSmithKline Antibacterial R&D, remarked that "accurate, rapid, easy to use diagnostic tests that can identify infecting pathogens directly from a patient sample will alter the way we treat bacterial infections by allowing us to enhance the efficiency of clinical trials and provide physicians with test results prior to making critical treatment decisions."

Cepheid said that subject to approval, Xpert Carba-R, which was launched in Europe earlier this month, is expected to be available in the US in 2015.

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