Veredus Laboratories, a Singapore-based subsidiary of STMicroelectronics, has introduced a multiplexed molecular diagnostic platform for identifying the specific mycobacterium causing the infection and drug resistance.
The VereMTB diagnostic device, which utilizes STMicroelectronics’ Lab-on-Chip technology, uses natural samples for detection and provides results within less than three hours.
Veredus Laboratories chief executive officer Dr Rosemary Tan said in 2011, 8.7 million people were diagnosed with TB and 1.4 million people died from the disease.
"With its ranking by the World Health Organization as the second greatest killer from a single infectious agent worldwide, faster diagnosis and appropriate treatment of this highly infectious disease is critical," Tan added.
As part of the ongoing program to assess new technologies for TB diagnostics, the Lab-on-Chip based VereMTB is currently undergoing evaluations by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Beijing, China.
National Center for Tuberculosis Control and Prevention vice director and National TB Reference Laboratory director professor Zhao Yanlin said the center has been evaluating VereMTB using samples, collected from across China with a special interest in detecting challenging multi-drug resistant strains that are difficult to detect using other methods.
"The speed, accuracy and comprehensiveness of the results have been very promising," Yanlin added.
"We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Veredus for new breakthroughs in diagnosing TB."