Canadian Food Inspection Agency Selects Prionics AG for Enhanced BSE Surveillance Program

Jan 14, 2004, 00:00 ET from Prionics AG

    ZURICH, Switzerland, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Prionics AG, the world leader
 in testing procedures for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), today
 announced that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has chosen the
 Prionics(R)-Check WESTERN rapid BSE test for the country's enhanced BSE
 disease surveillance program.  Prionics(R)-Check WESTERN was the rapid test
 used in Canada during the 2003 BSE investigation.  Three CFIA laboratories
 have now been equipped with the Prionics test.
     "Reliable BSE testing is a proven method for monitoring the beef supply
 and boosting consumer confidence," said Dr. Bruno Oesch, president and CEO of
 Prionics.  "We are proud that Canada has selected Prionics to help bolster the
 country's detection system."
     Prionics(R)-Check WESTERN is considered by many animal health authorities
 internationally to be the most accurate rapid-test procedure for BSE in the
 world. To date, more than 18 million cattle samples worldwide have been tested
 using this technology with no false positive results recorded.
     "It is critical to get a BSE test right the first time," said Oesch.
 "This is particularly important for BSE-free countries or countries with a low
 BSE incidence because the resulting loss of confidence from consumers and
 trading partner countries, triggered by a false positive, can have disastrous
 consequences. One of the striking advantages of our technology is that it is
 the only rapid BSE test that does not deliver a false positive."
     An additional benefit of the Prionics test system is that it is the only
 one of its kind suitable for detecting BSE in both cattle that are processed
 for consumption as well as "downer" cows. "A breakthrough feature of our test
 is that its performance is not hampered when partly or fully degraded tissue
 samples are used for testing," adds Oesch.  "Such sub-optimal samples are
 typically encountered in surveillance programs focusing on downer cattle."
     Prionics has over 50-percent share of the world market for BSE testing --
 more than 18 million out of 30 million cattle have been tested with Prionics
 BSE rapid tests. BSE-free countries like Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and
 Chile -- as well as most European countries that test for BSE -- have adopted
 this technology in agreement with guidelines established by the World
 Organization for Animal Health.
     About Prionics AG
     Prionics AG has the largest number of scientists in the industry focused
 on BSE, and works closely with a network of prion and neurological experts
 around the world. Prionics' surveillance concept has led to the establishment
 of official EU-wide BSE screening programs in 2001, and Prionics(R)-Check
 WESTERN is the preferred test in these programs.
     Prionics AG, based in Zurich, Switzerland, is an ISO 9001 certified
 company with production facilities in Switzerland and the US and currently
 employs 100 people. For more information about Prionics please visit

SOURCE Prionics AG