Public Release:  New life-saving diagnostic test for HIV patients featured in 'Better World Report'

University of Nevada, Reno

IMAGE

IMAGE: New life-saving diagnostic test for HIV patients featured in "Better World Report " highlights University of Nevada, Reno technology transfer deal to bring new cryptococcal meningitis test to developing countries. The... view more

Credit: Mike Wolterbeek, University of Nevada, Reno.

RENO, Nev. - Research conducted at University of Nevada, Reno and licensed through the University's Technology Transfer Office is featured in the technology transfer publication "Better World Report" for a remarkable second year in a row.

The article details a research advancement that has been licensed through IMMY, a diagnostics company, for a new diagnostic test that will help save the lives of hundreds of thousands of AIDS patients stricken with cryptococcosis, a fungal meningitis.

The new, rapid blood test known as the CrAg Lateral Flow Assay leads to early diagnosis of cryptococcosis, a leading cause of AIDS-related deaths in developing countries, by detecting the cryptoccocal antigen. The antibody used for the test was developed by Tom Kozel, professor of microbiology of the University of Nevada School of Medicine, at the Reno campus with grants from the National Institutes of Health.

"It's fantastic to be featured in the publication again," Ryan Heck, director of the University's Technology Transfer Office, said. "The collaboration with IMMY is more about saving lives than making money. They agreed right away to make the product low-cost so it would be easily available in developing countries to make the most impact on saving lives.

"Tech transfer is about moving innovations from the University into the marketplace to help generate economic development, though sometimes it's less about economic impact and more about societal impact."

The new diagnostic product has been available in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda, and recent FDA approval makes it available globally. The point-of-care product is a simple field-usable dipstick test requiring no sophisticated equipment and enables treatment to begin immediately in the field, an important consideration when early treatment is crucial for successfully treating cryptococcosis.

###

The 2011 "Better World Report," published by the international Association of University Technology Managers (http://www.autm.net), is an annual collection of stories recognizing real-world, research-driven technologies that directly impact the health and well-being of people around the globe.

"Better World profiled 23 stories selected from research institutions across the country that they felt were making the world a better place," Heck said. "I'm pleased that Dr. Kozel's work and our agreement with IMMY were selected for publication."

The publication can be viewed at http://www.betterworldproject.org/documents/AUTM11BWR_FNL.pdf. More information about the CrAg LFA can be found at http://www.immy.com/. A fact sheet issued by the Center for Disease Control can be viewed at http://www.cdc.gov/ncezid/dfwed/factsheets/FACTSHEET_Cryptococcus_revised%205-17-2011.pdf.

Nevada's land-grant university founded in 1874, the University of Nevada, Reno has an enrollment of 18,000 students and is ranked in the top tier of the nation's best universities. Part of the Nevada System of Higher Education, the University has the system's largest research program and is home to the state's medical school. With outreach and education programs in all Nevada counties and with one of the nation's largest study-abroad consortiums, the University extends across the state and around the world. For more information, visit http://www.unr.edu.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.