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Lab21 Launches new Commercial Companion Diagnostic Service for HIV Tropism in UK

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Lab21 Limited announces the addition of a new diagnostic test for HIV to its portfolio of companion diagnostic services.

Lab21 will be the first commercial reference laboratory in the UK to provide a companion diagnostic service for the HIV drug, Celsentri, which is marketed by ViiV Healthcare who are currently supporting the provision of this genotypic tropism testing to the UK NHS.

Lab21 will offer the HIV service from its UK operation with immediate effect and will be able to receive samples from all parts of the world. In the longer term the company also plans to offer the test as part of its comprehensive HIV service at its US facility in Greenville, South Carolina.

The HIV diagnostic is a genotypic test which determines the sequence of a specific region of the virus, the V3 loop. This information helps to determine the specific cell type the strain of HIV will infect and replicate. As individual drugs are only effective against specific strains of HIV, this allows clinicians to identify the most effective treatment, improving patient care, and reducing costs.

Dr Berwyn Clarke, CSO of Lab21 commented: “This new technology has been developed in the HIV field over the past few years and we have now introduced the protocols into the Lab21 service labs to provide a fully validated, fast turnaround assay. The addition of this service to Lab21’s portfolio means that we can offer a fully comprehensive menu of tests for HIV clinicians to use including viral load and resistance analysis, CD4 counts and serology”.