Basel, 07 March 2014
New Roche test helps specialists to identify syphilis in routine samples and donated blood
Diagnostics division strengthens its position in the serology market and expands its immunoassay portfolio in infectious disease
Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) today announced the market availability* of the Elecsys® Syphilis immunoassay, a diagnostic test to help detect patients infected with syphilis in routine clinical practice and to make sure donated blood is not infected with syphilis. Although most new syphilis cases occur in developing countries, syphilis has re-emerged as a health concern in a number of developed nations over the past decade. Designed for the emerging needs of clinical laboratories for reliable and efficient detection of this disease the test enhances Roche’s solutions portfolio in serology testing – the testing of antibodies formed as a response to an infection - and complements the most comprehensive offering for blood safety available on the market today.
“Every year 12 million people get infected with syphilis worldwide. To test for syphilis at the early stage is important when the disease is still curable and it is essential that blood donations are free of syphilis pathogens when given to patients,“ said Roland Diggelmann, Chief Operating Officer of the Roche Diagnostics Division. “We strive for continual improvement to meet laboratories’ and blood banks’ evolving needs, expanding our menu offering and providing integrated solutions to improve testing reliability, safety and efficiency. “
Thanks to its high sensitivity, the test minimizes the likelihood of missing syphilis infections, enabling healthcare professionals in laboratories to efficiently run a single test within 18 minutes, ensuring the safe and timely supply of blood products. Moreover, its high specificity facilitates a clear and consistent interpretation of results at all disease stages with a minimal need for re-testing, providing maximum efficiency gains for the laboratory and patient safety.
*CE market availability at the European Economic Area (EEA)
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. Some 36 million people are currently infected with syphilis worldwide, with 12 million new cases reported every year.
Syphilis can be transmitted during direct sexual contact, through blood transfusions and from a pregnant woman to her unborn child. Syphilis infection also greatly increases the likelihood of HIV transmission. A person is two to five times more likely to become infected with HIV if exposed when syphilis sores are present.
About Roche Diagnostics in infectious disease
Roche has a heritage of more than 30 years in providing diagnostic solutions for infectious diseases, and the assays for blood screening use technologies specifically developed for the company’s serology and nucleic acid testing platforms. Since their launch in 1996, more than a hundred high-quality Elecsys® assays for immune testing have been developed, not to mention a new generation of fully automated cobas® analyzers for improved medical decision making, scheduling and efficiency.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and neuroscience. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostics that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. Founded in 1896, Roche has been making important contributions to global health for more than a century. Twenty-four medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organisation Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and chemotherapy.
In 2013 the Roche Group employed over 85,000 people worldwide, invested 8.7 billion Swiss francs in R&D and posted sales of 46.8 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit www.roche.com.
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