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Thermo Fisher Scientific to Showcase Unique Ability to Assess Sepsis Risk with Clinical Biomarker

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Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., has announced that it will showcase its clinical assay for Procalcitonin (PCT), which aids in the risk assessment of critically ill patients with sepsis, at the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) 40th Critical Care Conference 2011. PCT is a protein biomarker that can be detected in human serum and plasma in cases of severe sepsis and septic shock.

The Thermo Scientific B.R.A.H.M.S PCT assay enables rapid and accurate risk assessment of the condition, which is of particular benefit to intensive care units in hospitals. The company will showcase the B.R.A.H.M.S PCT biomarker assay at Thermo Scientific booth 432 during SCCM 2011, Jan 15-19, in San Diego.

Sepsis is characterized by a whole-body inflammatory state due to a systemic infection. In the U.S., incidence of sepsis is rising at an estimated 1.5 percent annually and mortality rates range from 25 percent to nearly 50 percent. Research published in Critical Care Medicine (Kumar et al. Critical Care Medicine. 34(6):1589-1596, June 2006) showed that each hour of delay in therapy can decrease survival by 7.6 percent. PCT is a protein that can be used as a marker for sepsis caused by severe bacterial infections.

Unlike other sepsis biomarkers, it can be elevated much earlier in the condition. Blood samples can be prepared and analyzed in just 19 minutes and patient results delivered one hour from taking the blood sample. In addition, levels of PCT in the human body correlate to the severity of the infection, enabling a more accurate and detailed assessment.

The PCT assay is already established in Europe, particularly Germany, France and Switzerland, where it has been used for risk assessment of sepsis in patients for more than ten years. In the U.S., PCT received 510(k) clearance by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April 2008.

Andy Thomson, president of Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Clinical Diagnostics business, comments: “PCT has proven an effective tool for sepsis in Europe and is expected to become standard in the U.S. as the industry learns more about its unique capabilities. Thermo Fisher acquired B.R.A.H.M.S in 2009 particularly for the company’s patented ability to use the PCT biomarker as an effective tool for identifying bacterial infection in sepsis.

This acquisition has allowed Thermo Fisher to extend its laboratory solutions to include point-of-care solutions. The PCT biomarker aids in the risk assessment of critically ill patients with sepsis, and this can help clinicians make safer and more efficient treatment decisions.”