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Cepheid Welcomes UNITAID Commitment To Broaden Access To "Ground-Breaking" Xpert® MTB/RIF

Cepheid welcomed UNITAID's announcement that it has approved funding of $30 million to scale up access to the "ground-breaking" Xpert MTB/RIF in high burden developing countries (HBDC). According to UNITAID, the funds will be used to roll out Xpert-based programs in around 20 countries, in addition to supporting a buy-down of the price of each Xpert MTB/RIF cartridge from $17 currently to around $10.

"We are honored that our innovative GeneXpert® system and Xpert MTB/RIF test are increasingly viewed as integral elements of global programs to combat tuberculosis, and we applaud the ongoing commitment of UNITAID and others to tackle a disease that is still responsible for more than a million deaths a year," said John Bishop, Cepheid's Chief Executive Officer. "While discussions with UNITAID, USAID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are ongoing at this time and the final agreement is not yet completed, we believe that all parties are committed to working together to enable HBDC programs to access the test at around $10, which should accelerate adoption in the countries where it is most needed."

Cepheid's Xpert MTB/RIF test was endorsed by the World Health Organization in late 2010, and TB programs in more than 61 of 145 eligible countries have since adopted, or are trialing, the test. As the only accurate, easy-to-use and rapid diagnostic available, Xpert MTB/RIF delivers the potential to diagnose both TB and multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB in 90 minutes, which should enable patients to receive the correct treatment more quickly, and reduce the effects of the disease on entire communities.

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