FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

Cepheid releases new flu, RSV rapid diagnostic test

California-based diagnostics company Cepheid announced on Tuesday the release of a new test to rapidly confirm and diagnose a respiratory syncytial viral infection and certain types of the flu.

The new test-Xpert Flu/RSV XC-will be marketed as a CE-IVD product, bringing the total number of available tests to 18. The test runs on the company's GeneXpert System, which has more than 7,000 systems installed to date. It will begin shipping later this month.

"Influenza strains are notoriously unpredictable and the severity of flu outbreaks can vary widely from season to season," John Bishop, Cepheid's chairman and CEO, said. "While no one can know exactly which influenza strains will show up in their clinics and emergency rooms, with Xpert Flu/RSV XC hospitals and clinicians can be prepared to reliably diagnose and differentiate influenza strains in real-time."

David Persing, the chief medical and technology officer at Cepheid, said that in developing the test, researchers attempted to "anticipate emerging novel influenza strains."

"Though simple to perform, Xpert Flu/RSV XC is a highly multiplexed, state-of-the-art test for rapid and accurate detection and differentiation of Flu A, Flu B, and RSV infection," Persing said. "This test may also become a valuable asset in efforts toward pandemic preparedness because it was designed from its inception to provide unprecedented coverage of avian influenza strains."