University's HIV diagnostic test expands into European market

November 07, 2005

A diagnostics test developed by the University of Liverpool for monitoring anti-HIV drugs in the blood is to be made available across Europe.

The test has been acquired by Delphic Europe - a diagnostics products provider - which will develop it in conjunction with viral resistance testing for market on the continent. The service was created by Professor David Back, Dr Saye Khoo and a team in the School of Biomedical Science and is currently used to analyse blood samples from patients with HIV across the UK in order to identify the correct dosage of medicine for individual patients.

Blood samples are routinely sent to Liverpool by 120 hospitals across the country and analysed to establish the amount of HIV drug in patients' blood. This enables doctors to identify the correct dosage for patients.

The service - the only one of its kind in the UK - examines 12 different drugs used by HIV patients. Assessing the amount of drug in the blood of an HIV patient is crucial as too much or too little can result in toxicity or therapy failure in a patient.

Professor Back said: "It is vital that our diagnostic test is made available to as many HIV patients as possible. Incorporation into Delphic is a very positive way forward for the service, effectively providing a 'one stop shop' for HIV diagnostics. The roll out into Europe will ensure that patients receive the most effective treatment to aid management of the disease."

Tim Leaver, Managing Director of Delphic, added: "Delphic is a revenue-generating business and is now ready to roll out its proven business model into the wider European market. We have the business, scientific and clinical leadership to capitalise on our existing products and to bring new diagnostics into our portfolio which will further enhance the potential for individualised care for HIV patients."
Notes to editors

1. An estimated 53,000 adults were living with HIV in the UK at the end of 2003, of whom 14,300 (27%) were unaware of their infection. In 2004, there were at least 6,973 new diagnoses of HIV, contributing to a total of 72,938 since the epidemic began.

2. As of the end of December 2003, there have been 280,664 reported AIDS diagnoses in Europe. At least 158,583 of these people have died. The 48 countries which have national HIV reporting systems have reported 571,648 HIV diagnoses. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) estimates that more than two million people were living with HIV in Europe at the end of December 2004. Statistics according to AVERT, an international HIV and AIDS charity based in the UK.

3. The University of Liverpool is one of the UK's leading research institutions. It attracts collaborative and contract research commissions from a wide range of national and international organisations valued at more than £90 million annually.

University of Liverpool

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