Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

Cepheid Tackles a Major Hospital Expense

By

Using genetics to contain costly drug-resistant diseases.

PrintPRINT
One of the biggest problems for older or chronically ill patients is the risk of additional infections once in the hospital setting, but one company is working to help eradicate these diseases that are often resistant to treatment with antibiotics.

Cepheid (CPHD) announced on Wednesday that it received clearance from the FDA to market Xpert VanA, a test developed to detect the vanA gene in patients. The test allows doctors to determine which patients will be resistant to treatment with the high-strength antibiotic vancomycin.

Since the saturation of antibiotics into the population began in the 1960s, more and more types of infections are becoming resistant to treatment with antibiotics. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections have become one of the most prevalent hospital-acquired infections, also known as health care-associated infections (HAI), in the last two decades. MRSA infections don't respond to most antibiotics and may only be sensitive to vancomycin, usually the antibiotic of last resort.

Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus (VRE), another form of bacteria that's resistant to all forms of treatment, has become one of the most serious issues in hospitals because it attacks people with weak immune systems -- patients in the burn ICU, the neonatal ICU, and the pediatric ICU being the most susceptible, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The test by Cepheid produces results in less than an hour and allows doctors and hospitals to take extra precautions when dealing with patients who won't respond to treatment with vancomycin; giving these patients a higher chance for a successful recovery.

"Many patients in the areas of oncology, hematology, nephrology, transplant, and abdominal surgery units are at highest risk for contracting VRE. Therefore, it's imperative to prevent potential outbreaks by testing for vanA upon admission of high-risk patients," said Cepheid's Chief Medical and Technology Officer Dr. David Persing. "Several recent studies have demonstrated that a policy of recognition, prevention, and control of vancomycin-resistant organisms that colonize patients in health-care settings can lead to a reduction in transmission rates. A rapid test mitigates perceived drawbacks to preemptive isolation and maximizes medical value by delivering actionable results almost immediately."

According to the CDC, data collected in 2006 and 2007 showed that one in eight hospital-acquired infections was caused by the enterococcus bacteria, with 30% of those being vancomycin-resistant. The report, done in March 2008 by the CDC, showed that health care-associated infections cost US hospitals between $28.4 billion and $33.8 billion annually.

This is the ninth test by Cepheid to be cleared by the FDA. The genetic test-making company, which has a market cap of $804 million, jumped on the Xpert VanA test news, gaining more than 5% to trade above $13.80 by midday Wednesday. The stock has traded between $4.93 and $15.98 over the last 52 weeks.

Earlier this week, Cepheid also got emergency use authorization from the FDA for its Xpert Flu A Panel test that detects the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus in less than one hour.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

PrintPRINT
 
Featured Videos

WHAT'S POPULAR IN THE VILLE