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Abbott Laboratories (ABT) Begins Biopreparedness Evaluation Program With State Public Health Labs Abbott's PLEX- ID System

4/15/2010 10:29:58 AM

SALT LAKE CITY, April 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Abbott today announced that the Utah Department of Health (UDH) is one of five sites in the United States to participate in Abbott's new PLEX-ID Biopreparedness Evaluation Program (BPEP), which involves Abbott, the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) and five state public health labs.

"PLEX-ID appears to be a valuable addition to state public health laboratories and represents an important tool in helping health officials respond to emergency outbreaks more quickly," said Scott Becker, executive director of APHL. "This type of public-private partnership is a unique opportunity for all parties."

Currently intended for surveillance use only, PLEX-ID is the only high-throughput technology that offers rapid and broad identification, detailed genotyping, and characterization and recognition of emerging organisms.

PLEX-ID can identify a broad range of bacteria, viruses, fungi and certain parasites, and provide information about drug resistance, virulence and strain type. It has the potential to be a powerful and versatile tool for public health laboratories, according to David N. Sundwall, Ph.D., executive director, Utah Department of Health. Anticipated public health applications include epidemiologic surveillance, monitoring of pandemic diseases and identification of emerging or previously unknown agents. In addition, the system also is being used for forensic characterization of human samples.

Sundwall added that for disease surveillance, the PLEX-ID technology will enable public health officials to track emergent strains as they evolve, mutate and potentially become more dangerous. "The PLEX-ID system permits real-time surveillance, rather than identifying a new pathogen long after it first emerges," he said.

The Journal also reported that since its development in 2005, PLEX-ID technology has "been deployed in 20 sites around the U.S., including the Centers for Disease Control [and Prevention] and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."

The company has begun to collect specimens and install instruments at its clinical trial sites. PLEX-ID also is expected to meet all the requirements for CE Marking in the European Union by June.

Abbott's news releases and other information are available at the company's Web site at

CONTACT: Media, Don Braakman, +1-847-937-0080, or Financial, Tina Ventura,
+1-847-935-9390, both of Abbott

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