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Quest Diagnostics Announces Launch of Simplexa™ Direct Test for Influenza and Respiratory Viruses in Europe
Date:11/1/2011

CYPRESS, Calif. and MADISON, N.J., Nov. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE: DGX), the world's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services, today announced the CE mark and European availability of the Simplexa Flu A/B & RSV Direct test on the 3M™ Integrated Cycler.  The new test, from the company's Focus Diagnostics business, uses a proprietary technique to eliminate nucleic-acid sample extraction, a time-consuming process required by other molecular test products, for faster results reporting.

"Simplexa Direct chemistry employs a novel technology that overcomes a critical limitation found in most molecular test kits on the market: the need for extraction of nucleic acids," said Maurice Exner, Ph.D., vice president of research and development, Focus Diagnostics.  "With this advance, molecular testing will be far easier and faster for labs to perform than before. We believe the Simplexa Direct method is an important step toward enabling a greater range of healthcare professionals to access quality molecular testing. We look forward to introducing our first Simplexa Direct product, for influenza and respiratory syncytial virus testing, to laboratories in Europe."

Nucleic-acid extraction is a process requiring specialized molecular equipment and trained personnel. It involves extracting DNA or RNA from a blood, plasma or other specimen type for testing. The nucleic-acid extraction process, used in most commercial molecular test kits, can add approximately 60 to 90 minutes to total testing time. Focus Diagnostics has replaced the process with a proprietary reaction-mix technique. The company expects to use the proprietary technology in future Simplexa products.

Simplexa Flu A/B & RSV Direct is an addition to the influenza and respiratory franchise of award-winning FDA-cleared and CE-marked assays
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SOURCE Quest Diagnostics Incorporated
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