Luminex launches two new cystic fibrosis tests in Europe
17 July 2009
Luminex Corporation (NASDAQ: LMNX) has launched two new cystic
fibrosis (CF) tests in Europe, the xTAG Cystic Fibrosis 39 Kit v2 and
xTAG Cystic Fibrosis 71 Kit v2, as CE IVD Marked products under the
European Directive on In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices.
The new xTAG tests will be used to provide assistance in cystic
fibrosis screening for newborns and confirmatory diagnostic testing in
newborns and children. The tests also can be used for carrier testing in
adults of reproductive age.
Cystic fibrosis is a chronic disease caused by mutations in the CF
transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. It causes the body to
produce thick mucus that can clog the lungs and affect the digestive
system. To date, more than 1,500 disease-causing CFTR mutations have
Cystic fibrosis can only be inherited when both of a child’s parents
carry a CFTR gene mutation that causes the disease. Approximately 36,000
Europeans have cystic fibrosis. Each year 2,500 children with the
disease are born.
Although CF is most common among western European populations, it can
affect people of any race. According to European Cystic Fibrosis
Society, as many as 1 in 30 Europeans are carriers of a CF-causing gene
“The geographic distribution of CFTR gene mutations differs
significantly among the European populations,” said Prof. Milan Macek,
Professor of Medical and Molecular Genetics, Division of Clinical
Molecular Genetics and the National Cystic Fibrosis Centre at University
Hospital Motol and 2nd School of Medicine Charles University Prague.
“Some are ubiquitous, some are rare and some are population-specific.
The possibility of having a test that can cover a wide range of
mutations found in different ethnic groups is very important and will
allow doctors to have better confidence around CF diagnosis, especially
when we have cases where the ethnicity of the patient is difficult to
The xTAG Cystic Fibrosis 39 Kit v2 can quickly and accurately detect
up to 39 of the most common CFTR gene mutations from a child or parent’s
blood sample or bloodspot in a matter of hours. The xTAG Cystic Fibrosis
71 Kit v2 can screen for all of the genetic mutations in the xTAG Cystic
Fibrosis 39 Kit v2 plus an additional 32 mutations including those that
are typically found in specific ethnic populations.
The xTAG tests also are uniquely designed to be fast and easy for
use, requiring only about one hour of hands-on time to process 48
purified samples. They offer physicians the ability to select the CFTR
gene mutations for which they want to test.
Additionally, reflex tests are incorporated in these kits. All
results are revealed and available for analysis at each run. With
validated performance criteria, the xTAG Cystic Fibrosis 39 Kit v2 and
xTAG Cystic Fibrosis 71 Kit v2 are highly accurate and reproducible.
“The xTAG Cystic Fibrosis 39 Kit v2 and xTAG Cystic Fibrosis 71 Kit
v2 will be important new tools for physicians in Europe by establishing
a new benchmark for CF testing. These tests feature broader mutation
coverage than any other tests,” said Patrick J. Balthrop, president and
chief executive officer of Luminex.
“This broad mutation coverage means that more people at risk for CF
or at risk for passing CF onto their children will be identified. More
comprehensive screening is an essential step in improving the health and
quality of life of people with CF.”
Luminex Molecular Diagnostics, a division of Luminex Corporation, is
a pioneer in developing qualitative genotyping tests for cystic
fibrosis. The company’s first groundbreaking xTAG Cystic Fibrosis Kit
was cleared by the US FDA in May 2005. These second generation xTAG
tests were designed with four years of feedback from clinicians and
The xTAG Cystic Fibrosis 39 Kit v2 and xTAG Cystic Fibrosis 71 Kit v2
are available through Luminex Molecular Diagnostics.
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