Prionics AG, World's Leading 'Mad Cow' Diagnostic Company, Responds to USDA's Additional BSE Protection Measures

Dec 31, 2003, 00:00 ET from Prionics AG

    SUNNYVALE, Calif., Dec. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Prionics AG, the world leader
 in testing procedures for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), today issued
 the following statement in response to the announcement by the U.S. Department
 of Agriculture (USDA) regarding additional BSE protection measures:
      "Prionics praises the approach taken by the USDA and its decision to
       bolster the already aggressive surveillance, detection and response
       program," said Dr. Bruno Oesch, president and CEO of Prionics.  "The
       USDA's additional actions will further strengthen U.S. prevention
       systems and the confidence of both consumers and customers around the
     Prionics(R)-Check WESTERN is the most accurate rapid-test procedure in the
 world.  It has been used on more than 15 million cattle samples worldwide, and
 there have been no false positives recorded.  Prionics AG has more than
 50 percent share of the world market for BSE testing procedures, and it is the
 only company with two high-throughput BSE tests approved by EU. The two tests
 form a complementary and compatible BSE test system.
     Prionics(R)-Check WESTERN detects BSE using three independent criteria:
      * recognition of the disease-related prion protein by the antibody
      * a decrease of molecular weight of the detected protein following
        protease digestion;
      * the characteristic three-band pattern of the protein reflecting its
        glycosylation status.
     Prionics(R)-Check WESTERN is also the only recommended test for highly
 compromised tissue samples.
     Prionics' surveillance concept led to the establishment of official
 EU-wide BSE screening programs in 2001, and the Prionics(R)-Check WESTERN is
 the preferred test in these programs.  Canada adopted the Prionics(R)-Check
 WESTERN in May of 2003 for the initial evaluation of their BSE situation, and
 BSE-free countries such as Australia, New Zeeland, Argentina, Chile and others
 have also adopted this technology, in agreement with guidelines of the World
 Organization for Animal Health.
     Prionics AG's 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.  Prionics AG is an ISO
 9001 certified company and currently employs 100 people.  For more information
 about Prionics please contact or visit our website

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