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Dec 12, 2006

Test to Detect Multiple STIs Under Development

  • Oxford Gene Technology (OGT), St. George’s University of London, and St. George’s Healthcare NHS Trust signed a collaboration agreement to develop a cost-effective single platform microarray to diagnose multiple sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

    The collaboration between OGT and St. George’s aims to develop a diagnostic test with the capacity to detect the DNA of many sexually transmitted pathogens in one specimen from infected people. 

    The collaborators hope for more comprehensive and accurate diagnoses with accurate same-day results. Ultimately, the array technology lends itself to the development of point-of-care testing for multiple STIs combined with high standards of accuracy.

    In partnership with St George’s clinical and microbiology expertise, OGT will design and develop the optimized 60mer oligonucleotide microarray using its ink jet in situ synthesis platform and will also investigate the use of its Multi Sample Array format enabling the parallel analysis of multiple samples. This will aim to reduce the cost per sample and provide a rapid diagnostic result.

    The project will be jointly funded by the Heptagon Proof of Concept Fund and OGT and will last a year. By the end of this period, the team hope to have a prototype, which will then be validated using clinical samples.

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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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