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GEN News Highlights : Dec 5, 2006

Cepheid Receives $14M CDC Contract for Avian Influenza Test

Rapid point-of-care diagnostic to detect influenza viruses A and B and the H5N1 avian influenza virus in human respiratory specimens.

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.