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Cepheid Announces New Diagnostic Technology to Aid World Efforts in Halting the Spread of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (TB)
Date:3/24/2009

SUNNYVALE, Calif. March 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cepheid (Nasdaq: CPHD) today announced details of technology expected to revolutionize the speed of diagnosis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) and the resistance to common drug treatment for the disease.

The new test technology, developed in partnership with Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), and funded by the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases (NIAID), will leverage the power of Cepheid's GeneXpert(R) System to deliver a highly accurate diagnosis of the disease in less than two hours.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately two billion people are infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Each year approximately nine million people develop active TB and two million people lose their lives to the illness. This equates to one life every 20 seconds.

"One of FIND's main goals is to help to save the millions of lives that are needlessly lost to TB every year," says Giorgio Roscigno, Chief Executive Officer of FIND. "Cepheid's commitment to researching and bringing this test to market has been outstanding, as is their intention to sell Xpert(R) MTB/RIF on a cost for product basis in the developing world, where it is most needed. We are proud to be working with them on this project."

Rapid diagnosis of TB is vital in areas such as sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia due to the close connection between HIV and TB. Sputum microscopy, which often delivers poor sensitivity in patients suffering from tuberculosis, is almost completely ineffective in those who also have HIV co-infection. The weakened immune system of an HIV-positive person is particularly susceptible to inf
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