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Hyglos Honored With 2010 Food Safety Innovation Award for Technology Used in bioMerieux's VIDASŪ UP E. coli O157 (Including H7)

Friday, July 30, 2010 Diet & Nutrition News J E 4
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MARCY-L'ETOILE, France and REGENSBURG, Germany, July 29 /PRNewswire/ -- bioMerieux, a world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics, and Hyglos GmbH, the leader in applied phage protein technology, today announced that a team of scientists who developed a new diagnostic tool for food microbiologists is the recipient of the 2010 Food Safety Innovation Award given by the International Association of Food Protection (IAFP). Visit www.biomerieux-usa.com or www.biomerieux-usa.com/iafp2010.

The scientists are recognized for the development of phage recombinant proteins, which offer best-in-class specificity and sensitivity for the targeted capture and detection of bacteria from a sample. Bacteriophages are highly specific viruses that only infect bacteria. For the first time in history, a phage protein has replaced antibodies in a commercially diagnostic test, bioMerieux's VIDASŪ UP E. coli O157 (including H7). The assay is able to detect even low levels of contamination by E. coli O157:H7, a potentially lethal strain of Escherichia coli that has caused many food outbreaks in the United States, Canada, Japan, and Europe.

"This award is a great honor for us as well as an important recognition of the high level of expertise, energy and investment that we have dedicated to develop new, enhanced bacteria-recognizing molecules for use in food testing systems," said Dr. Monika Walter, Manager Operations, Hyglos GmbH. "We appreciated the potential of using biochemically re-engineered phage proteins instead of live bacteriophages, and have gained extensive know-how, as well as generated a number of patents in this field," stated Dr. Walter. "We are very pleased to have partnered with bioMerieux to develop our technology on VIDASŪ, the world's leading automated system for food-borne pathogen detection."

"Through our collaboration with Hyglos, we have integrated the latest technology available for pathogen screening on the VIDASŪ platform to meet the food industry's need for highly specific assays, able to detect even low levels of critical pathogens," said Alexandre Merieux, bioMerieux Corporate Vice President, Industrial Microbiology. "On behalf of bioMerieux, I would like to congratulate the Hyglos scientists for this achievement and contribution to improving food safety."

The award, sponsored by Walmart, will be presented to the scientists, represented by Dr. Walter, on August 4th during the IAFP Annual Meeting awards reception and banquet at the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, Calif., USA.

Visit bioMerieux at the 2010 IAFP meeting at booth #215 and learn more about the VIDAS UP E. coli O157 (including H7) assay.

About VIDASŪ UP E. coli O157 (including H7)

VIDASŪ UP E. coli O157:H7 (including H7) is the fastest method to detect E. coli O157:H7 in raw beef that has obtained both AFNOR Validation/ISO 16140 and AOAC-RI certifications. The method can deliver results in as little as 8 hours, where traditional methods can take up to 2 days. It also has the flexibility of analyzing a broader range of sample sizes (up to 375 grams), allowing the food industry to more effectively manage their quality control process and improve their risk management. The recombinant phage technology in VIDAS UP E. coli O157 (including H7) is exclusively licensed to bioMerieux by Hyglos GmbH.  

VIDASŪ is the world's leading automated system for food-borne pathogen detection with tests for Escherichia coli O157 (Including H7), Salmonella, Listeria spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus enterotoxins and Campylobacter. VIDASŪ and its compact version, mini VIDASŪ, are multiparametric systems using ELFA (Enzyme Linked Fluorescent Assay) technology, and based on a ready-to-use single-sample test concept.

About the Food Safety Innovation Award by IAFP

The Food Safety Innovation Award is sponsored by Walmart and is presented to an individual or organization for creating a new idea, practice, or product that has had a positive impact on food safety, thus, improving public health and the quality of life. The organization, International Association of Food Protection (IAFP), includes more than 3000 individuals from around the world and many large companies such as bioMerieux SA, Applied Biosystems, BD Diagnostics, ConAgra Foods, DuPont and Cargill as members. For further information about the activities of IAFP and their awards, please visit: http://www.foodprotection.org/events/iafp-annual-meeting/.

About Hyglos GmbH

Hyglos GmbH (formerly Profos) is a biotech company based in Regensburg, Germany.  Hyglos' core competency is to exploit the principles of bacteriophage biology and the expert use of the proprietary phage-ligand technology for research, diagnostic and antimicrobial applications. Hyglos is an ISO 9001 and 13485 certified company.

About bioMerieux

Advancing Diagnostics to Improve Public Health

A world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics for over 45 years, bioMerieux is present in more than 150 countries through 39 subsidiaries and a large network of distributors. In 2009, revenues reached euro 1.223 billion with 85% of sales outside of France.

bioMerieux provides diagnostic solutions (reagents, instruments, software) which determine the source of disease and contamination to improve patient health and ensure consumer safety. Its products are used for diagnosing infectious diseases and providing high medical value results for cancer screening and monitoring and cardiovascular emergencies. They are also used for detecting microorganisms in agri-food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.

bioMerieux is listed on the NYSE Euronext Paris market (Symbol: BIM – ISIN: FR0010096479).

Other information can be found at www.biomerieux.com.

SOURCE bioMerieux

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