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Quidel Announces License for MChip Microarray for Flu Testing

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Quidel Corporation has announced an exclusive, worldwide license to the MChip microarray based influenza detection technology developed by scientists at the University of Colorado (CU) in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"We are extremely pleased with this licensing agreement with the University of Colorado and the CDC, as it strategically positions Quidel Corporation with an important technology and tool in the molecular diagnostic field," commented Caren Mason, president and CEO of Quidel Corporation.

"With the acquisition of this validated technology, Quidel looks ahead to expand its product range and reinforce its market leadership in rapid point-of-care influenza diagnostics," added Mason.

Quidel's said that it plans to develop and market molecular-based diagnostic tests featuring the MChip for use in pandemic surveillance, as a tool for the clinical laboratory and at the point-of-care in the physician office laboratory.

According to Quidel, the MChip offers several advantages over other array-based influenza tests, which typically use sequences from three influenza genes - hemagglutinin, neuraminidase, and matrix. The MChip only uses sequences from the matrix genes, which are more conserved than the quickly mutating hemagglutinin and neuraminidase genes.

As reported by CU, the MChip has been validated in collaboration with the CDC by testing H5N1 samples collected over a three year period from people and animals around the world and to date has correctly identified 24 different H5N1 flu strains at 97% sensitivity and 100% specificity, with no reported false positives.

Dr. Kathy Rowlen, Project Leader of the CU discovery team commented: "We are delighted that Quidel has licensed the MChip technology. We see Quidel as the ideal company to bring this technology to health care providers and surveillance personnel around the world due to their established leadership in point-of-care diagnostics and reputation for high quality products."