HIV diagnostic test expands into EU market

By Wai Lang Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Hiv Antiretroviral drug

A diagnostic test, which monitors anti-HIV drugs in the blood, is
set to enter development to eventually become available across
Europe. The test will be used to identify the correct dosage of
medicine for individual patients.

Assessing the amount of drug in the blood, especially for a HIV patient is crucial as too much or too little can result in toxicity or therapy failure in a patient. Also the threat of multidrug resistance has made correct dosage additionally important.

The test will be developed by Delphic Europe - a diagnostics products provider, for distribution across the continent.

"Delphic will bring new diagnostics into our portfolio which enhances the potential for individualised care for HIV patients,"​ said Tim Leaver, managing director of Delphic.

Delphic are to acquire the diagnostic test, which is already being used as part of a service created by Professor David Back, Dr Saye Khoo and a team in the School of Biomedical Science at the University of Liverpool.

The service - the only one of its kind in the UK - examines 12 different drugs used by HIV patients. Blood samples are routinely sent to Liverpool by 120 hospitals across the country and analysed to establish the amount of HIV drug in patients' blood. This enables doctors to identify the correct dosage for patients.

"It is vital that our diagnostic test is made available to as many HIV patients as possible. Incorporation into Delphic is a positive way forward for the service, providing a 'one stop shop' for HIV diagnostics,"​ said Professor Back.

"The roll out into Europe will ensure that patients receive the most effective treatment to aid management of the disease,"​ he added.

At the end of December 2003, there was 280,664 reported AIDS diagnoses in Europe. At least 158,583 of these people have died. The 48 countries, which have national HIV reporting systems, reported 571,648 HIV diagnoses.

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) estimates that more than two million people were living with HIV in Europe at the end of December 2004. Statistics according to AVERT, an international HIV and AIDS charity based in the UK.

Diagnostic tests for HIV have become essential in its treatment, helping to speed up administration of appropriate therapy. Some of these tests-specifically complete blood counts (CBC), chemistry screens, T-Cell counts and viral load tests-are done shortly after someone finds out they are HIV positive to establish a "baseline" measure of immune status and viral activity.

Establishing this baseline helps people and their health care providers monitor disease progression as well as the effects of treatments.

Many HIV tests are available, produced by companies such as Abbott Laboratories, Organon, Roche Diagnostic Systems, and Sanofi Diagnostics Pasteur.

Related topics Preclinical Research

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