Epistem signs marketing agreement with Indian co. for TB assay

Epistem, a major United Kingdom epithelial stem sell company, has signed a sales and marketing agreement for its tuberculosis molecular assay with Xcelris Labs, India's genomics research and diagnostic testing firm.

When clinical testing has completed, Epistem will prepare regulatory submissions in advance of the TB test's launch. The biomarker-based assay for TB was developed using Epistem's point-of-care Genedrive platform, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News reports.

The Genedrive platform has been developed as an integrated and rapid hand-held system that can provide drug resistance and diagnostic analyses in 20 to 30 minutes. Xcelris will represent Epistem's partner for the distribution of the Genedrive technology throughout India and the Indian sub-continent. According to Epistem, the Genedrive diagnostic platform has applications for viral, fungal and bacterial infections along with the identification of somatic mutations.

Epistem is commercializing its epithelial stem cell expertise for application in the development of biomarker discovery collaborations, diagnostics, therapeutics and the provision of preclinical efficacy testing, research models and clinical sample analysis to the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. The company has specialist testing and preclinical research expertise in the fields of dermatology, inflammatory bowel disease and oncology. The firm partnered with University Manchester researchers in late 2011 to create new preclinical assays for the repair of wounds.