Novel Diagnostic Test for EU BSE-Surveillance Program

Mar 14, 2003, 00:00 ET from Prionics AG

    ZURICH, Switzerland, March 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The Scientific Steering
 Committee of the European Commission today recommended the novel
 Prionics(R)-Check LIA BSE-Test for the EU Surveillance Program.  "With our new
 BSE test, we are comprehensively equipped to meet future market needs today,"
 says Dr. Bruno Oesch, CEO and Head of Research & Development at Prionics.  The
 Prionics(R)-Check LIA is the first rapid BSE test that is easy to use both
 manually and when integrated into a fully automated system.  The LIA was
 designed to complement the most successful BSE test worldwide, the
 Prionics(R)-Check WESTERN, which has established itself among BSE experts as
 the reference for BSE rapid tests, due to its unmatched precision and
 reliability.  "The two tests form an ideal and 100 per cent reliable
 complementary testing system able to meet the most diverse needs of our
 customers," explains Prionics' Marketing Director, Karl Kalf.
     The Prionics(R)-Check LIA was evaluated by the European Commission in a
 field study carried out by BSE experts at two different national BSE reference
 centers and four routine diagnostic laboratories.  The large-scale study was
 the first of its kind.  It focused not only on the technical specifications of
 the novel BSE test but also on its precision in field use, particularly under
 adverse conditions.  The Prionics(R)-Check LIA not only fulfilled all
 requirements it also demonstrated 100 per cent sensitivity, underlining its
 suitability for reliable detection of BSE animals.  The test also exhibited
 100 per cent specificity, which means that it would not incorrectly identify
 samples from healthy animals as BSE positive.  "The results of the EU study
 prove that the test is unbeatable in sensitivity and specificity," says Kalf.
 "Absolute reliability and high precision under field conditions represent the
 ambitious and demanding criteria which must be met by any new test developed
 by Prionics.  Each individual result is important in consumer protection,
 especially as substances derived from one single cow can reach between 200,000
 and 400,000 (1) consumers."
     About Prionics:
     Prionics AG is the world leader in the early diagnosis of prion diseases
 such as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy ("Mad Cow disease") and scrapie.  The
 company shot to fame in 2000 when its BSE tests uncovered the devastating fact
 that cattle across Europe had contracted Mad Cow disease.  Prionics' research
 and development efforts are focused on neurological and prion diseases.  The
 Prionics research team works closely with a network of prion and neurological
 experts around the world, and the company is now considered an international
 center of excellence in the diagnosis of prion diseases.  Prionics AG is a ISO
 9001 certified company and currently employs 80 people.
      1. Opinion of the Scientific Steering Committee on the Human Exposure
         Risk (HER) via food with respect to BSE -- Adopted on 10 December

SOURCE Prionics AG