US-based firm Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) and Italian diagnostic products maker Euroclone Diagnostica have entered an agreement for the development and global distribution of molecular tests to detect emerging sexually transmitted pathogens.
The molecular tests are expected to improve the potential for an accurate diagnosis and treatment in the presence or absence of symptoms.
In addition to supporting clinical laboratories for antimicrobial stewardship, the assays will help institutions to comply with European guidelines for sexually transmitted infections (STI) screening.
The new assays will run on the fully automated BD MAX System to detect infectious genital mycoplasmas such as Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma species that are difficult to diagnose using standard methods.
Lack of proper diagnosis and treatment of such infections are reported to result in immediate and long-term health consequences, including infertility and heightened HIV susceptibility.
The new tests will be able to detect resistance markers of common drug therapies and allow prescription of a required course of antibiotic therapy.
BD Women’s Health and Molecular Diagnostics vice-president Doug White said: “BD and Euroclone share a passion for reducing the risks associated with undiagnosed STIs, as well as the burden of symptoms that impact the lives of many worldwide.”
The new molecular assays will expand the firm’s current BD MAX portfolio, which includes the BD SurePath liquid-based Pap test and BD Onclarity HPV assay for identification of 14 high-risk HPV genotypes.
The firms intend to initiate commercialisation of the tests outside of the US next year, with plans to later expand the launch to the US.