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MUREX ANNOUNCES NEW AIDS TEST AVAILABLE; YIELDS ACCURATE RESULTS IN 10 MINUTES

 MUREX ANNOUNCES NEW AIDS TEST AVAILABLE;
 YIELDS ACCURATE RESULTS IN 10 MINUTES
 TORONTO, May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Murex Corporation, a subsidiary of International Murex Technologies Corporation (AMEX: MXX), today gained U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to manufacture and market its rapid 10-minute screening test for detection of antibodies to Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1), the major virus which causes AIDS.
 The Murex Single Use Diagnostic System (SUDS) HIV-1 Test can be used as a screening test in hospitals, laboratories, medical clinics, physicians' offices, emergency care situations, and blood banks or other healthcare settings where microwell enzyme immunoassays are not practical or available, to quickly and reliably detect antibodies to HIV-1. The new test requires no special equipment and only minimal staff training. The SUDS HIV-1 Test is faster than laboratory screening procedures currently used to detect HIV-1.
 As with other screening tests, positive results should be confirmed by additional testing with other types of test kits such as Western blot or immunofluorescence assay.
 Test Meets Increased Need, Demand
 "There has been a sharp increase in the number of people being tested for HIV-1 in recent months, and the need for reliability and confidentiality in HIV testing will only become more important as this trend continues," said Dr. George Perez, director, Virology Department, St. Michael's Medical Center, Newark, N.J. "The SUDS HIV-1 Test makes HIV-1 antibody testing more accessible to health professionals, who will be able to provide more tests and faster test results. That convenience will benefit patients as well."
 Officials of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported a sharp increase in demand for HIV testing in late 1991, and predicted that HIV testing would increase at a rate of 20 percent to 30 percent each year during the next eight years. To date, the CDC has recorded 213,641 cases of symptomatic AIDS in the United States, and 138,395 deaths due to AIDS. The CDC estimates that 1 million Americans are positive for HIV antibodies.
 In clinical trials involving 8,714 specimens at 11 test sites, the SUDS HIV-1 Test was shown to have a sensitivity of 99.9 percent and a specificity of 99.6 percent. These figures are comparable to those for other currently approved HIV-1 test kits used by clinical laboratories.
 Color Change Reflects Test Result
 The Murex SUDS HIV-1 Antibody Test works by mixing a small amount of the patient's serum or plasma with an antibody capture reagent to which only HIV-1 antibodies will attach. This mixture is transferred, by pouring, into the SUDS test cartridge, where particles coated with HIV-1 antigens and, if present, HIV-1 antibodies bound to capture antigens are trapped. Unbound antibodies are removed by a wash step. An enzyme- antibody reagent is added which attaches to HIV-1 antibodies captured in the SUDS test cartridge. When a chromogen solution is added, the enzyme generates a blue color in a window at the bottom of the test cartridge, indicating a positive result.
 "Studies show that the SUDS HIV-1 Test provides results accurately in approximately 10 minutes, in contrast to other approved HIV-1 screening tests such as the ELISA, which require special instrumentation and approximately three hours to perform the test," said Robert K. Shockley, Ph.D., director, Infectious Disease Research and Development, Murex Corporation.
 Murex currently manufactures SUDS tests for the detection of antibodies to toxoplasmosis and rubella. Under development are rapid tests for the simultaneous detection of HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies and tests for chlamydia, hepatitis, HTLV-1 and HTLV-2.
 "IMTC research and development initiatives continue in this area," said Robert Cusick, president and CEO, International Murex Technologies Corporation. "We expect to have a full line of screening assays and confirmatory tests available for various infectious diseases by the mid- 1990s."
 Toronto-based IMTC is an international medical diagnostic systems company dedicated to the development, manufacture and global marketing and cost-effective diagnostic tests for infectious diseases, and products for the blood banking industry.
 -0- 5/26/92
 /CONTACT: Marcia Young of International Murex Technologies, 800-688-1332, or 416-408-4682, or Alan G. Ampolsk of Fleishman-Hillard, 212-265-9150, for Murex/
 (MXX) CO: Murex Corporation; International Murex Technologies Corp. ST: Ontario IN: HEA SU: PDT


CK-OS -- NY032 -- 3741 05/26/92 11:55 EDT
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Date:May 26, 1992
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