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Global biotech firm partners with CHEO researcher to address a technology gap in infectious disease

OTTAWA, ON October 3, 2011 The Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute is pleased to announce that one of its principal investigators in infectious disease has signed a contract with Life Technologies, an internationally renowned biotech tools company headquartered in Carlsbad, California, to share information that will help to develop tests that uniquely amplify and detect the DNA coding for infectious diseases. Dr. Robert Slinger will focus on bacteria that cause severe infectious diseases.

"I believe Life Technologies to be a leader in its field, so it was an honor to be approached about contributing to this project," said Dr. Slinger, a CHEO Medical Microbiologist and Pediatric Infectious Diseases physician. "Life Technologies is one of the only companies in the world that has the full suite of technology to look at detection of infectious disease agents from extracting DNA and RNA from a sample to amplifying and detecting the results. I think they're ahead of the curve yet again, by bringing microbial testing to their innovation roadmap."

Dr. Slinger and Life Technologies are partnering with the objective to co-develop microbial detection tests. In short, they will identify the unique DNA sequence of targeted infectious disease pathogens which will ultimately be used to create tests that will rapidly and clearly indicate when a targeted infectious agent has been identified in a patient sample. Samples will be tested with "all-inclusive" panels that include tests for large numbers (e.g. 30-50) of infectious agents. This approach will ensure that all possible causes of the patient's infection are looked for at the same time, which Dr. Slinger believes will ultimately lead to better antibiotic treatment for patients.

"Dr. Slinger is well known as one of the first to use molecular panel technology to test for infectious disease in humans," said Astrid Ferlinz, Life Technologies' Global Market Development Manager, Darmstadt, Germany. "We're now embarking on a strategic partnership with Dr. Slinger that will one day alter how we look for infectious disease to help patients; but also to protect the public from contracting serious infections that can't be detected by current lab methods (for instance, consider the E. coli outbreak in Germany this spring)."


Contact: Adrienne Vienneau
613-737-7600 x4144
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute

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