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ZeptoMetrix™ and FIND Announce New Culture Panels to Develop High Sensitivity Malaria Test

ZeptoMetrix Corporation and FIND are pleased to announce the first commercially available malaria Plasmodium falciparum culture panels with standard concentrations of histidine rich protein 2 (HRP2).

The ZeptoMetrix Malaria P. falciparum culture panels, which are available in a range of concentrations from six different malaria strains, are intended for use by researchers and manufacturers to develop new high sensitivity malaria rapid diagnostic tests.

HRP2 is the antigen used in most malaria rapid diagnostic tests to detect P. falciparum. By providing a range of standard HRP2 concentrations, including some that are very low, the panel can be used to evaluate the diagnostic sensitivity of improved tests that are in development.

Malaria rapid diagnostic tests have played an important role in malaria control in recent years, enabling health care workers to quickly diagnose and treat malarial fevers, particularly in young children. There were an estimated 212 million cases of malaria and 429 000 related deaths in 2015, according to the World Health Organization's 2016 World Malaria Report, with some 70% of reported deaths occurring in children under the age of five.

"The malaria Plasmodium falciparum culture panels will provide a valuable and previously nonexistent resource for developers of new malaria diagnostic tests," said Dr Catharina Boehme, CEO, FIND. "In particular, these panels will enable developers of highly sensitive rapid tests for P. falciparum malaria to rapidly assess and improve new test prototypes."

Thanks to intensified interventions to prevent, diagnose and treat malaria, incidence of the disease decreased by an estimated 41% globally between 2000 and 2015, and by 21% between 2010 and 2015. Global malaria targets for 2030 include the reduction of malaria incidence and mortality by at least 90% compared to 2015 levels. Reaching these ambitious targets will require new, more sensitive rapid diagnostic tests to detect asymptomatic malaria infections.

"Global concerns with regards to malaria remain exceptionally high," Dr. Gregory R. Chiklis, President and CEO of ZeptoMetrix, relayed to his company. "We are extremely proud and pleased to be able to partner directly with FIND to help support our industry with the additional tools necessary to assist in R&D."

The following strains are available:

Strain: FCQ79 (Type A) - Catalogue Number KZMC041
Strain: Berlin I (Type A) - Catalogue Number KZMC042
Strain: W2 (Type B) - Catalogue Number KZMC043
Strain: Santa Lucia (Type B) - Catalogue Number KZMC044
Strain: PH1 (Type C) - Catalogue Number KZMC045
Strain: Borneo (Type C) - Catalogue Number KZMC046

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