Cepheid announced the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has categorized Cepheid's Xpert® CT/NG test as 'Moderate Complexity' under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). Xpert CT/NG is a qualitative in vitro molecular diagnostic test for the detection and differentiation of Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG). The test runs on Cepheid's GeneXpert® Systems and is the first and only molecular CT/NG test to be categorized as Moderately Complex. The Moderately Complex categorization will now allow the accuracy benefits of molecular diagnostics to be realized over a broader testing universe.
"In a recent study of 23 developed countries by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, the U.S. was found to have the highest rates of Sexually Transmitted Diseases among youths," said John Bishop, Cepheid's Chief Executive Officer. "Now accessible to more than 20,000 Moderately Complex U.S. labs and 7,000 High Complexity U.S. labs, Xpert CT/NG becomes an important new weapon in reducing STD rates as clinicians can test, consult with, and treat their patients on a more timely basis."
"The classification of Xpert CT/NG by the FDA as 'Moderate Complexity' is a breakthrough for sexual health and STD prevention. The large number of Moderate Complexity point-of-care laboratories that exist in U.S. hospitals and clinics can now offer rapid, highly accurate and private same-day STD testing," said Jeffrey D. Klausner, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine, UCLA-David Geffen School of Medicine. "Public health officials need to work with providers to increase the availability of those tests. Faster STD detection and treatment could go a long way in stemming the continued epidemic of STDs in the United States."
Gonorrhea and Chlamydia are Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Both are easily treated when detected and managed quickly. Chlamydia remains the most common sexually transmitted bacterial infection in the United States. While the CDC recommends annual testing for all sexually active women aged 25 and under, their most recent nationally representative estimate among this population found that only 38 percent of sexually active women were tested for chlamydia during the previous year.
Gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported bacterial infectious disease in the country. The CDC estimates that more than 700,000 Americans become infected with gonorrhea every year, yet fewer than half of these infections are diagnosed and reported to the CDC. Current testing protocols for Neisseria gonorrhoeae are often problematic due to cross-reactivity with other organisms, often requiring an additional confirmatory test. These delays and coordination issues can significantly hamper communication and consultation, leaving both patients and their partners uninformed and untreated.
The categorization of commercially marketed in vitro diagnostic tests under CLIA is the responsibility of the FDA. This categorization includes the process of assigning commercially marketed in vitro diagnostic test systems to one of three CLIA regulatory categories:
• waived tests
• tests of moderate complexity
• tests of high complexity
Cepheid was the first company to receive a 'Moderate Complexity' categorization for a nucleic acid test and Xpert CT/NG is the 12th Cepheid test to be categorized as such.