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Dec 5, 2006

Cepheid Receives $14M CDC Contract for Avian Influenza Test

  • Cepheid received a contract from the CDC for up to $14.9 million to develop a rapid point-of-care diagnostic to detect influenza viruses A and B and the H5N1 avian influenza virus in human respiratory specimens.

    The objective of the program is to develop a rapid, highly accurate patient test utilizing real-time PCR on a broadly disseminated basis in virtually any setting. Cepheid will develop a fully automated, self-contained test that does not require the user to have technical or specialized training on its GeneXpert system.

    An initial allocation of $2.4 million for Phases I and II of the five-phase program was made in December. The proposed test will be developed over a 30-month period as part of a government program directed at pandemic preparedness.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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