News brief

Company says it has new diagnostic test

A manufacturer of medical diagnostic test kits says it has completed the development of a new diagnostic test kit to identify individuals who have an antibody that appears to neutralize the HIV virus and prevents HIV infection from progressing into full-blown AIDS.

The company, Hemagen Diagnostics of Columbia, MD, says the test will detect the antibody to an epitope, called R7V, the marker believed to distinguish progressors from non-progressors.

The test is being developed in conjunction with URRMA Biopharma, a Canadian-based biotech company. URRMA has obtained an exclusive global license for the use of a specific antibody (anti-R7V) in a diagnostic test and for the eventual use of the antibody as a therapeutic and preventative treatment for AIDS. Hemagen has an agreement with URRMA to produce this diagnostic kit exclusively for URRMA.