5/18/2010 10:46:37 AM
BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Immunetics, Inc. (Boston, MA) has been selected to receive a $2.8 million contract as part of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s (NHLBI) Retrovirus Epidemiology Donor Study-II (REDS-II) project, a long term epidemiologic study of blood safety involving HIV and other infectious and non-infectious complications of blood transfusion. The contract will be administered by Westat, a research organization based in Rockville, MD, which is the coordinating center for the REDS-II project. Under the contract, Immunetics will develop and supply a new test for HIV, which will uniquely distinguish individuals infected with HIV from those who have been immunized with experimental HIV vaccines in clinical trials. At present, vaccination leads to a false positive result on the current generation of HIV screening tests, a problem highlighted by recent publications in medical journals. Clinical trials for HIV vaccines have involved thousands of vaccine recipients worldwide and continue to enroll more subjects, who stand to benefit from availability of the new test. The NHLBI initiated this project because it will provide a test which will be useful in screening blood donors in those regions of the world where HIV vaccine trials have been or are being conducted and to avoid the permanent deferral of those donors found not to be infected with HIV. Immunetics will work with a consortium of researchers at the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research where the original research leading to the new test was carried out, Blood Systems Research Institute in San Francisco, and others. The contract is valued at $9.2 million with all options exercised.
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