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Cepheid, pharma firms collaborate on diagnostic test for multidrug-resistant bacterial infections

PBR Staff Writer Published 20 June 2014

Cepheid has entered into a new collaboration with AstraZeneca, Cubist and GSK to encourage transformational change in infectious disease therapy.

The Carbapenem Resistance Consortium aims to develop a rapid diagnostic test, which can target multi-drug resistant pathogens and support the appropriate use of antibiotics.

Xpert Carba-R, which is a rapid test under development for use with rectal swab samples to identify the presence of potentially life threatening bacteria, is commercially available outside the US.

The consortium is specifically working to extend the number of body sample types from rectal swabs to other body samples such as respiratory samples from patients with pneumonia, according to Cepheid.

AstraZeneca Infection Innovative Medicines vice-president and head Manos Perros said developing rapid molecular diagnostics will enable physicians to treat patients suffering from bacterial infections with a new generation of safe and well tolerated antibiotics that will target drug-resistant pathogens in an effective way that is not possible with today's drugs.

"The work of this consortium will generate diagnostics which we can use to match the right drug to the patient, help develop our emerging pipeline of pathogen-targeted antibacterials, and step up the fight against the threat of antibacterial resistance."

Subject to regulatory approval, Xpert Carba-R is targeted for commercial release in the US in 2015.