STMicroelectronics and Veredus Laboratories have announced that they are developing a diagnostic capability that will enable health practitioners to detect strains of Avian Flu and other influenza viruses.
Using STMicroelectronics' In-Check™ platform, Veredus is developing an application to identify whether a patient is infected with the Avian Flu (H5N1) or a subtype of Influenza A or B in a single test, instead of requiring many tests, as needed currently.
The diagnostic effort is being built on STMicroelectronics' In-Check platform, a complete laboratory on a chip.
The platform is designed to allow users to perform the complex processing and analysis of a minute sample on a single disposable chip.
In addition, this self-contained lab-on-chip approach is designed to reduce the risk of cross-contamination inherent in conventional analysis methods.
Results are detected by a portable reader using optical signal acquisition and processed by ST's specialized bioinformatics software, which can be installed on any PC.
"The World Health Organization recently identified rapid detection as the first requirement in fighting Avian flu, and ST's leading-edge semiconductor expertise - combined with Veredus' expertise in Avian Flu detection - will enable new possibilities for effective timely detection and treatment so that early containment of the infection will be possible," said Anton Hofmeister, Group Vice-President and General Manager for ST's Microfluidic Division.
"We are convinced that affordable, user-friendly, and portable devices like In- Check will make a critical difference in a growing number of diagnostic applications."
"In light of the risk of a worldwide flu pandemic, and to limit its potential global impact, we aim to provide health-care professionals with the capability to quickly differentiate Avian Flu or severe flu strains from milder strains by their subtypes," added Dr. Rosemary Tan, CEO of Veredus.
"In-Check is ideally suited to serve as a platform on which to build Veredus' unique infectious disease panels."
"This combination will enable rapid diagnosis and the delivery of appropriate treatments for patients in the shortest time possible."
"We are actively developing chips to detect Dengue, Malaria, West Nile, Yellow Fever, Typhoid Fever, Japanese Encephalitis, and other diseases and anticipate that our products will greatly improve treatment choices."
The Veredus application, running on ST's In-Check platform, is expected to be commercially available to health care providers in the fall of this year