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May 23, 2007

Chembio and IDRI to Develop Tests for Leishmaniasis and Leprosy

  • Chembio Diagnostics and the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) entered into two R&D deals related to diagnostic tests for leishmaniasis and leprosy. Chembio will use its dual path immunoassay test platform, DPP™ and will incorporate IDRI’s antigens.

    Chembio reports that in preliminary studies during the first quarter of 2007, superior analytical sensitivity on certain well-characterized samples from patients with these diseases were observed.

    The organizations expect to complete prototype tests this year and then intend to seek commitments for procurement of these products for affected populations globally.

    IDRI receives funding from the NIH and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the development of vaccines and diagnostics for leishmaniasis and from the American Leprosy Mission for similar activities in leprosy.

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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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