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Tyrian Diagnostics Seeking New Partner Opportunities for Tuberculosis Diagnostic Tests; Becton, Dickinson and Company (BDX) Will Not Continue Collaboration

10/15/2009 6:22:41 AM

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SYDNEY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tyrian Diagnostics Limited announced today that Tyrian and BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) will not continue their collaboration to develop a Point-of-Care (PoC) test for the diagnosis of active tuberculosis (TB).

In January 2009, Tyrian reported that its lead TB marker was detected in clinical strains of the bacteria responsible for TB as well as in clinical sputum samples; however, it was unable to detect the marker at the desired levels of sensitivity and specificity. In May 2009, Tyrian granted BD research and development rights to conduct further feasibility studies using its proprietary technology to seek to achieve the desired levels of sensitivity and specificity for an effective PoC diagnostic product. Neither company was able to consistently detect the Tyrian lead biomarkers in clinical samples at a level of detection required for a rapid test to be effective.

Dr Jenny Harry PhD, Tyrian CEO, commented that, “We acknowledge further advances in the available technology are required for the development of a sensitive 5 minute test to detect active TB. While we are disappointed not to be proceeding with BD on a protein-based PoC test for TB using our biomarkers at this time, this outcome has two positive aspects for Tyrian.

“Firstly, it validates our decision to focus on the development of a molecular diagnostic test for active TB using our patented markers, since molecular technologies are well established and currently much more sensitive than protein-based technologies.”

Tyrian is currently working with Dr Barry Kreiswirth, Director of the Public Health Research Institute TB Centre, New Jersey, to validate its patented lead biomarker and establish a sputum-based assay using existing molecular technology. This will pave the way for a molecular TB test to be developed in partnership with a company that offers a platform appropriate for use in TB testing environments.

Whilst molecular testing should have the sensitivity required for detection of active TB, it is performed in a clinical setting and so meets only a part of the market need. There is still an urgent requirement for a simple, rapid test which is easily deployed at point of care.

“Secondly, we now believe that, among participants in this field, Tyrian arguably holds the best portfolio of biomarkers for a PoC TB test. We are in an excellent position to team with a new partner as an appropriate, sensitive and commercially viable technology emerges,” announced Dr Harry.

About Tuberculosis

TB is an extremely slow growing bacterium and is notoriously difficult to detect during the early stages of active infection when the disease becomes contagious. The World Health Organisation’s latest estimates show that more than 2 billion people are infected with TB, and with 9.27 million new cases and 1.77 million deaths (equating to 4,500 deaths per day) in 2007 alone, the continuing spread of TB is a very real threat. While many Australians probably think that TB is a disease of the past, South East Asia carries one-third of the global burden of TB and increased travel within this region poses a significant implication for the spread of TB infection in Australia. To minimise the spread of the disease, early detection is critical and therefore sensitivity in a TB diagnostic test is imperative.

About Tyrian Diagnostics

Tyrian Diagnostics (ASX: TDX - News) is an Australian-based company that develops and commercialises rapid point-of-need diagnostics.

The Company has an innovative and proprietary diagnostic test platform, DiagnostIQ, and Tyrian’s strategy is to deliver near term revenues through partnering this technology for the development and commercialization of clinical and non-clinical diagnostic tests. The first product is a point-of-need diagnostic for measuring wheat quality, ReadRite Alpha Amylase, developed in partnership and commercialized with Bayer CropScience AG, with further products under development.

Tyrian also has expertise in discovering and developing biomarkers of disease as targets for diagnostic tests. Tyrian’s first programme is the development of its patented biomarkers for molecular and protein-based diagnostic tests for active tuberculosis (TB) and the company is seeking partners for commercialization of these tests. Tyrian’s longer term plan is to exploit its intellectual property and expertise in respiratory and infectious diseases to achieve higher returns through developing and commercialising proprietary clinical diagnostic products.

Additional information about Tyrian Diagnostics can be found at


Tyrian Diagnostics Dr Jenny Harry, +61 2 8877 8947 Chief Executive Officer

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