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German Drugmaker Stada Launches Device-Independent Rapid Test for the Detection of Ebola Infections

From March 2015, STADApharm GmbH will take over global sales of a device-independent Ebola rapid test, thereby adding another field of application to the STADA Diagnostik product line. The new rapid test detects an advanced-stage Ebola infection within minutes and is intended exclusively for use by medical professionals. Responsibility for the development and production lies with Senova, a bio-science and technology company located in Weimar, which specializes in immunological rapid tests.

"With our high-quality screening test, infected persons can be detected within a very short space of time, isolated from their environment and further diagnostic steps can be initiated. This speeds up and simplifies the quarantine management in the disaster areas," explains Lothar Guske, Managing Director of STADApharm. The Ebola rapid test from STADA Diagnostik is based on the proven lateral flow principle and works independently of a power supply. Serum, which can be obtained from a mechanically treated blood sample for example, can be used among other things as a sample material for detecting the highly virulent pathogen.

To carry out the analysis, the sample simply needs to be applied to the test system. Information on the presence of an advanced stage Ebola infection is then provided through the detection of an antigen. Senova has validated the reliability of the test using several hundred real specimens in Guinea. For Senova owner Hans Hermann Söffing, a key area of application for the rapid test is the examination of Ebola victims who have passed away: "The viral load in people who have died of Ebola is so high that even a mere throat swab is sufficient to perform the rapid test. Isolation can thus be carried out extremely quickly in the event of a positive test result. This is particularly important as experience shows that in the main infection areas, many people become infected through contact with the deceased.''

This is the first time that STADA has worked with Senova. Since it was founded in 1999, the company from Weimar, Germany, has introduced a variety of immunological tests to the market. "As with all other tests from our STADA Diagnostik product family, we were specifically looking for a competent partner to develop our portfolio with. We are therefore very pleased to be working with Senova: our areas of expertise perfectly complement one another and together we can now offer the aid organizations and community teams in the Ebola areas a rapid test, which detects infection faster than previously possible, thus contributing to the further containment of the Ebola epidemic," says Guske.

The test kits contain all of the necessary materials for use as well instruction manuals in German, English and French. Doctors, hospitals and aid organizations can order the Ebola rapid test from STADA directly or from pharmaceutical wholesalers. The price per test is € 3,20 net.

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