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Karius Announces Launch of Quantitative, Broad-Based Infectious Disease Diagnostic Test Using Microbial Cell-Free DNA

Karius, the leading U.S. infectious disease genomics company, announced today that the new version of its proprietary Karius Test can now quantify the abundance of pathogens detected. The test uses next-generation sequencing of microbial cell-free DNA (cfDNA) to identify over 1,000 pathogens from a single blood sample. Results are typically delivered the next day*. Karius is announcing its latest advances at the first annual HLTH “The Future of Healthcare” conference and is making the test immediately orderable to physicians nationwide**.

The Karius Test uses next-generation sequencing (NGS) to enable broad and rapid detection of bacteria, DNA viruses, fungi and protozoa in one broad-based test for infectious diseases. With a standard blood draw, the test identifies cell-free DNA (cfDNA) fragments left by microbes in a patient’s bloodstream, even when living organisms are no longer detectable in the blood or when patients have been pre-treated with antibiotics. Karius reports the presence and abundance of microbial cfDNA to physicians when statistically significant levels are detected above background.

“The new quantitative capabilities we added to our test give clinicians even greater insight – now not only delivering answers on which pathogens are present, but also the extent of the infection, enabling doctors to make more informed treatment decisions,” said Karius CEO Mickey Kertesz, Ph.D. “We are committed to delivering the highest quality service for clinicians to more rapidly diagnose infectious diseases, helping save lives in the most challenging diagnostic dilemmas including immunocompromised patients, complicated pneumonia, culture-negative bloodstream infections and invasive fungal infections.”

The Karius Test has been commercially available for over a year and has helped clinicians accurately detect pathogens in diagnostically challenging situations, including sepsis, endocarditis, fever of unknown origin, and in patients who have received antibiotic pre-treatment. It has also been useful for hematologist-oncologists who actively monitor immunocompromised patients susceptible to a broad range of pathogens, including stem-cell transplant recipients.

Dr. Kertesz will participate in the “Next Gen Genomics” panel discussion at HLTH on May 8, moderated by Jon Shieber, senior editor at TechCrunch. The panelists will discuss the immense potential of genomics and areas within the field that need further development.

HLTH is a leading event for innovation in healthcare that is creating a dialogue focused on disruptive innovation across the healthcare ecosystem. The HLTH agenda for 2018 will feature over 300 speakers from today’s most successful and innovative companies and thought leaders in the industry.

*From receipt for about 80% of samples received by 8:30 a.m. Monday to Friday.
**Karius is not yet a New York State-approved clinical laboratory, thus it cannot accept orders for patients in that state without an exemption.

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