Healthcare Industry News:  Acute Coronary Syndrome 

Diagnostics Cardiology Regulatory

 News Release - October 1, 2007

bioMerieux Launches VIDAS(R) NT-proBNP, an Aid for Diagnosis and Prognosis of Heart Failure

MARCY L'ETOILE, France--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Regulatory News: bioMerieux (Paris:BIM ), a global leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics, announces the launch of VIDAS® NT-proBNP, a CE-approved test that helps the diagnosis and prognosis of heart failure, developed by the company following a licensing agreement signed with Roche Diagnostics.

"This launch reinforces bioMerieux's commitment in the field of life-threatening cardiac pathologies. VIDAS® NT-proBNP is an innovative test and an important tool for patient management", declared Stephane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of bioMerieux. "The unique VIDAS design makes this assay available 24 hours a day for emergency departments. Year to date, bioMerieux has now launched its 3rd VIDAS test that brings high medical value to clinicians", he added.

VIDAS® NT-proBNP (N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide), a quantitative marker of heart stress, provides objective diagnostic information that helps distinguish heart failure from other disease states with similar clinical symptoms, for instance lung diseases or pulmonary embolism. It has the potential to detect early stages of heart failure in the absence of clinically obvious symptoms. In addition, it can be used to assess the prognosis of patients with established heart failure or Acute Coronary Syndrome.

NT-proBNP measurement has been shown to be cost-effective and could lead to important healthcare cost-savings. A recent Canadian study(1) reported a reduction in direct medical costs of 15% (USD 949 per patient) when NT-proBNP testing was part of routine assessment of emergency department patients with dyspnea.

The test will be a key addition for the bioMerieux VIDAS® emergency panel which already covers markers of cardiac necrosis (VIDAS® Troponin I Ultra, Myoglobin and CK-MB), venous thromboembolism (VIDAS® D-Dimer Exclusion(TM)) and bacterial infections (VIDAS® B.R.A.H.M.S PCT). With over 20,000 VIDAS® systems installed worldwide, bioMerieux is making NT-proBNP testing accessible to a large number of laboratories.

About Heart Failure

Heart failure is a major healthcare issue, whose frequency is expected to continue to rise in the coming years due to the worldwide aging population and increased survival rate from acute coronary events.

It is the leading cause of hospitalization in people over 65 years of age, affecting up to 17 million people worldwide. In the U.S., 5 million people suffer from heart failure, and 550,000 new cases are diagnosed each year(2).

About NT-proBNP

B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is secreted primarily by the left ventricle when the heart is unable to pump blood efficiently (e.g. in cases of heart failure). NT-proBNP is cleaved from the precursor protein proBNP in quantities directly proportional to its biologically active counterpart BNP and in close correlation with the severity of heart failure.

About bioMerieux

Advancing Diagnostics to Improve Public Health

A world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics for over 40 years, bioMerieux is present in more than 150 countries through 35 subsidiaries and a large network of distributors. In 2006, revenues reached EUR 1.037 billion with 83% of sales outside of France.

bioMerieux provides diagnostic solutions (reagents, instruments, software), which determine the source of disease and contamination to improve patient health and ensure consumer safety. Our products are used for diagnosing infectious diseases and providing high medical value results for cardiovascular emergencies and cancer screening and monitoring. They are also used for detecting microorganisms in agri-food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. bioMerieux is listed on Eurolist by Euronext. For more information, visit www.bioMerieux.com.

bioMerieux

(1) Moe G.W, Howlett J, Januzzi JL, et al. N-terminal Pro-B-type natriuretic peptide testing improves the management of patients with suspected acute heart failure. Primary results of the Canadian prospective randomized multicenter IMPROVE-CHF study. Circulation 2007;115: 3103-3110

(2) Rosamond W, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics -2007 update. A report from the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Circulation 2007; 115:e69-e171.


Source: bioMerieux

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