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Accelr8 Announces Development Expansion for Blood-Based Diagnostic Tests

Accelr8 Technology Corporation announced that it successfully completed two technical feasibility studies for test methods that expand its BACcel™ rapid diagnostic test library and automation capabilities. The first is a same-day multi-pathogen, multiple drug resistance diagnostic panel for positive blood cultures. Blood-borne infections produce extremely low bacterial or fungal counts in blood, so all blood tests require an overnight culture before testing. As with other specimen types, standard culture tests require colony isolation and then additional tests to identify pathogens and specific drug resistance expression. These require 2-3 additional days after obtaining a positive culture. Some of the new molecular diagnostic methods, such as mass spectrometry ("MALDI-TOF"), also require isolates and some require further sample extraction for best accuracy.

Accelr8 adapted its respiratory infection test methods to provide same-day results for positive blood cultures. The blood test panel includes multiple pathogens and multiple drug resistance types for each pathogen. The BACcel™ tests can report results by the end of the second day after obtaining a blood specimen, rather than 3-4 days.

The second project developed an innovative method for automating specimen preparation. Patient specimens typically contain a large proportion of materials that interfere with organism extraction or analysis. Reducing this content can markedly improve test accuracy for most test methods, including the BACcel™ system. Accelr8's new technology reduces the total preparation time from about 45 minutes with the existing respiratory specimen cleanup to less than 10 minutes. Development uses Accelr8's latest BACcel™ lab prototype fluidics robot to automate most of the operation.

The company believes that the new BAC-Xtrax™ device will completely integrate a "specimen-to-answer" automated BACcel™ system. It can also stand alone as a lab product, or integrate into other companies' automated systems for processing patient specimens.

"In addition to our own development plan, we've received requests from medical opinion leaders and from other companies for these new capabilities. We will submit presentations to major medical congresses where these advances will have the greatest impact," said David Howson, the company's president. "We continue to expand our network of medical and commercial collaborators as we enhance the BACcel's performance for long-term leadership in clinical diagnostic and pharmaceutical development markets. We are in dialogue with potential US, European, and Chinese collaborators," he concluded.

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