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HHS Awards Contract to Create Test to Identify Resistant Influenza Viruses

A diagnostic test to identify antiviral resistance in influenza is to be developed under an $1.8 million contract awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to Becton, Dickinson and Co.,  Franklin Lakes, N.J. The development work will be done over two years at BD Technologies, the technology development arm of BD, in Research Triangle Park, N.C.  
The test would combine detection of influenza virus with identification of antiviral drug resistance in clinical respiratory samples.  It will use a platform that combines the development of a test for identification of influenza antiviral resistance with a test cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for detection of influenza A and B, the most common human influenza viruses.

“Knowing that patients are infected with viruses that are resistant to antiviral drugs can help guide physicians to appropriate treatment and management for controlling the spread of influenza infections in health care facilities and communities,’’ said Robin Robinson, Ph.D., director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “This type of test, which could be performed easily in local laboratories, holds the potential to guide treatment options, helping to provide the best care to patients.”

The contract for advanced development is supported by BARDA, within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.  The contract supports the development of a critical test that is part of a national pandemic preparedness strategy, which includes accelerating the advanced development of new methods for identifying antiviral drug resistance.

BARDA develops and procures medical countermeasures that address the public health and medical consequences of pandemic influenza and other emerging infectious diseases. and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear(CBRN) accidents, incidents and attacks.

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