Corgenix Awarded NIH Grant to Develop Next Generation Technology Detection Products for Ebola and Marburg Viruses

Tuesday, April 13, 2010 General News
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New two-year study will focus on development of novel, recombinant-based diagnostic tests for two important biosafety level 4 viruses

DENVER, April 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Corgenix Medical Corporation (OTC Bulletin Board: CONX), a worldwide developer

and marketer of diagnostic test kits, including innovative products for emerging pathogens and lethal viruses, today announced a major extension of the collaborative effort to combat important viral diseases.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a grant totaling $600,000 to Corgenix for the two-year study, which will focus on development of novel, recombinant-based diagnostic tests for two dangerous viruses. Collaborating with Corgenix on the study will be Tulane University, The Scripps Research Institute and Autoimmune Technologies, LLC.

"We expect this study will result in specific, cost-effective and easy to use tests for Ebola and Marburg virus detection," said Jon Geske, Ph.D., Corgenix Project Director and Principal Investigator of the program. "In addition, the resulting diagnostics will be critical for development of vaccines and other treatments for these currently incurable diseases."

This is the fourth major grant or contract given to Corgenix and its collaborative partners for virus research. Under the previous three grants or contracts awarded in the past five years, the group has developed and patented new recombinant proteins for Lassa virus and developed several viral detection products. These products have been deployed for clinical testing in Africa, where most viral hemorrhagic fevers are endemic.

"We are extremely pleased to have received this NIH grant, expanding our collaborative research to include the filoviruses," said Douglass Simpson, Corgenix President and CEO. "Building on our very successful Lassa virus program, this will enable the development of state-of-the-art diagnostic tests for Ebola and Marburg viruses on multiple delivery platforms."

The Ebola and Marburg viruses are characterized as biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) agents. These include dangerous and exotic microorganisms that pose a high individual risk of aerosol-transmitted laboratory infections and agents that cause severe to fatal disease in humans for which vaccines or other treatments are not available. Both are indigenous to Africa, causing viral hemorrhagic fevers characterized by bleeding and coagulation abnormalities, often leading to death. Although disease outbreaks of the filoviruses are rare, rapid state-of-the-art detection systems for these viruses are vital due to their potency. Ebola virus has been reported to have a mortality rate of 20 to 90 percent.

Robert Garry, Ph.D., Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the Tulane University School of Medicine, added, "We have been very pleased with the results of our collaborative effort over the past five years. The diagnostic products for Lassa have shown to be remarkably effective in clinical settings in Africa and will have a meaningful impact on the healthcare in that part of the world, and will also fill a critical gap in bioterrorism defense. Now, under the new NIH grant, we will expand this program to address these additional infectious agents that have the potential to kill hundreds of thousands of people and are of concern to the public health and bioterrorism preparedness communities."

About Corgenix Medical Corporation

Corgenix is a leader in the development and manufacturing of specialized diagnostic kits for immunology disorders and vascular diseases. Corgenix sells over 50 diagnostic products through a global distribution network for use in clinical laboratories worldwide. In addition, the Company is active in the development of technology and products for emerging pathogens such as the viral hemorrhagic fevers.

About Tulane University

Tulane University (New Orleans) was founded in 1834. Tulane is one of the most highly regarded and selective research universities in the United States, and is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. Tulane's schools and colleges offer undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees in the liberal arts, science and engineering, architecture, business, law, social work, medicine and public health and tropical medicine.

About The Scripps Research Institute

The Scripps Research Institute is one of the world's largest independent, non-profit biomedical research organizations, at the forefront of basic biomedical science that seeks to comprehend the most fundamental processes of life. Scripps Research is internationally recognized for its discoveries in immunology, molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, neurosciences, autoimmune, cardiovascular, and infectious diseases, and synthetic vaccine development. Established in its current configuration in 1961, it employs approximately 3,000 scientists, postdoctoral fellows, scientific and other technicians, doctoral degree graduate students, and administrative and technical support personnel. Scripps Research is headquartered in La Jolla, California with a second campus located in Jupiter, Florida. Research at Scripps Florida focuses on basic biomedical science, drug discovery, and technology development.  

About Autoimmune Technologies, LLC

Autoimmune Technologies (New Orleans) is a privately held biomedical company. It has licensed several breakthrough research discoveries from Tulane University School of Medicine and has made exciting discoveries of its own. Autoimmune is working to offer new diagnostic tests and new anti-viral therapeutics to the medical community based on this proprietary research.

The information contained in this press release does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the Government and no official endorsement should be inferred.

SOURCE Corgenix Medical Corporation

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