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 www.prionics.ch.
SOURCE Prionics AG