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Corgenix, Tulane Announce Award of NIH Grant Extending Hemorrhagic Fever Virus Product Development Program
Date:5/7/2009

sco, a consultant to the Lassa group, noted, "these recombinant-based serological assays designed for field deployment offer the public health and scientific communities a powerful tool to accurately assess the true disease burden and risks posed by Lassa and other especially dangerous pathogens, while collaterally improving upon their treatment and ultimately prevention."

Lassa fever, a serious viral disease spread by contact with infected rodents, is estimated to infect 300,000 to 500,000 people per year across West Africa, with approximately 5,000 deaths. In some areas of Sierra Leone and Liberia, up to 16 percent of people admitted to hospitals have Lassa fever. Lassa fever is also associated with occasional epidemics, during which the case-fatality rate can reach 50 percent.

New outbreaks of the Lassa fever have been reported recently, including in Nigeria. Daniel Bausch, M.D., MPH&TM, Director of Tulane's Research and Training Program in West Africa, observed, "We are now seeing much broader presence of this disease in Africa. Within the past year alone we have seen a significant increase in the number of cases in Nigeria, with increased fatalities. It is critical that the assays we have already developed and are using in Africa, as well as others still in our development pipeline, become fully deployed to aid in this vital effort."

Under the NIH grant, Tulane will conduct a five-year study designed to complete the tests for VHFs, some of which are potential bioterrorism agents due to their high fatality rate and ease of transmission from person-to-person.

Robert Garry, Ph.D., Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the Tulane University School of Medicine and Principle Investigator of the program, added, "We have been very pleased with the results of our development effort. The products have shown to be remarkably effective in clinical settings in Africa and wil
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SOURCE Corgenix Medical Corporation
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