Tyrian Diagnostics and Becton, Dickinson  and Company complete feasibility study for tuberculosis diagnostic

22 January 2009

Tyrian Diagnostics Limited (ASX:TDX) announced today that it has completed Milestone 4 of a feasibility study in collaboration with Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) to determine the suitability of Tyrian’s proprietary tuberculosis (TB) protein markers for the development of rapid diagnostic tests to detect active TB disease.

The feasibility study demonstrated detection of selected proprietary TB proteins in sputum, along with the development of methods for sample preparation and testing suitable for use in the field. Tyrian has identified a lead marker which may be particularly suitable for a diagnostic test because it is an essential TB protein, meaning that it is always present when there is active TB.

For Milestone 4 of the feasibility study, this lead TB marker was detected in clinical strains of the bacteria responsible for TB as well as clinical sputum samples; however, the desired levels of sensitivity and specificity have not yet been achieved in a protein assay. This will require further technical development of the assay as well as analysis of a greater number of clinical samples.

In an adjunct study, Tyrian demonstrated that this same marker could also be developed as a molecular diagnostic assay.

Rapid and accurate diagnosis is critical to treat TB patients effectively and to arrest disease transmission. Current tests in market are either too slow or lack sensitivity. Tyrian and BD are seeking to address the need for rapid and sensitive diagnostics for active TB.

“This collaborative study with BD has identified two potential products for development using our lead marker,” said Jenny Harry, CEO of Tyrian Diagnostics. “A molecular diagnostic test could be developed, using existing gene expression technology, for primary use in hospitals, clinics and analytical and research laboratories. Secondly, an antigen-based Point-of-Care test would address a broader market by providing an immediate result without the need for laboratory facilities.”

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