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GEN News Highlights : Sep 30, 2009

CDC and NIH Commission SeraCare to Support HIV Research and Testing for $10.8M

CDC award is worth $3.6 million, and NIH awarded a new $2 million contract as well as expanded an existing one with $5.2 million.

SeraCare Life Sciences has received new contracts from the CDC and the NIH and expanded an existing NIH contract to support HIV research and testing. These contracts represent a combined $10.8 million in new funding if all options are exercised over the life of the contracts.

The five-year CDC contract is valued at over $3.6 million. It is part of the center’s HIV-1 Rapid Test Proficiency Program. SeraCare will support efforts to ensure that laboratories performing HIV-1 assays are achieving accurate results. The company will provide well-characterized HIV-1 positive and negative plasma and will test, dispense, and distribute panels to approximately 650 laboratories participating in this performance evaluation program.

The other new contract was awarded through PPD to support NIH’s Division for HIV Clinical Research Support Services over 15 months and is worth $2 million. SeraCare will collect, characterize, assemble, and distribute a comprehensive panel of current worldwide HIV strains. The aim is to establish a standardized set of viral reagents to help monitor and update blood screening and diagnostic assays and to assist in the development of vaccines for HIV.

Under the expanded, existing contract with the NIH, SeraCare will support the growth of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Biologic Specimen Repository and provide quality control AIDS and AIDS-related studies in preparation for anticipated broader use. The $5.2 million expansion increases the remaining value of the contract over the next two years to $6.3 million.

“The government sector is an important customer of our services business, and these recent awards demonstrate SeraCare’s fundamental role in the support of government-sponsored research projects and, specifically, our leadership position in providing the highest quality services in support of HIV research and testing,” states Susan Vogt, president and CEO of SeraCare Life Sciences. “Moreover, we believe these types of projects may increase given the influx of federal stimulus dollars for government-sponsored research.”