Veredus Laboratories, a Singapore-based subsidiary of STMicroelectronics, has introduced a multiplexed molecular diagnostic device for detecting mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) and its mutations, as well as nine other clinically relevant non-tubercular mycobacterium.
Using STMicroelectronics’ Lab-on-Chip technology, the VereMTB device can diagnose and identify the specific mycobacterium causing the infection or drug resistance in less than three hours.
Veredus Laboratories chief executive officer Dr Rosemary Tan said that in 2011, 1.4 million people died from TB and 8.7 million people were diagnosed with 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 said.
As part of the ongoing programme to assess new technologies for TB diagnostics, the Lab-on-Chip based VereMTB is currently undergoing evaluations by the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Beijing, China.
National Centre for Tuberculosis Control and Prevention vice director and National TB Reference Laboratory director professor Professor Zhao Yanlin said the centre 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 said.
"We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Veredus for new breakthroughs in diagnosing TB."