KANSAS CITY, Missouri – November 17, 2008 – ViraCor Laboratories, a specialty molecular diagnostic reference laboratory that provides same day turnaround for laboratory tests, is partnering with hospitals and doctors across the United States to provide the most comprehensive, accurate and rapid respiratory virus testing for the upcoming respiratory virus season. ViraCor is offering the xTAG™ Respiratory Viral Panel (RVP), a novel molecular diagnostic test from Luminex Corporation, that simultaneously detects 12 major respiratory viruses and subtypes – including the flu, the common cold and metapneumovirus – from one patient sample.

With xTAG RVP, ViraCor provides physicians with test results that help them identify the cause of a patient’s infection quickly and accurately. These results allow doctors to prescribe appropriate treatments faster, reduce the overuse of antibiotics, and improve surveillance of respiratory viruses in their hospitals and communities.

ViraCor was the first national clinical reference laboratory to adopt xTAG RVP. The company began offering the test following its 501(k) clearance by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January 2008. xTAG RVP was the first test of its kind to be cleared by the FDA.

“We were eager to adopt xTAG RVP because the test represented a major advancement in respiratory viral testing – an unmatched way for doctors to quickly and accurately detect the most important respiratory viruses,” said Steve Kleiboeker, Ph.D., Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of ViraCor Laboratories. “So far, the test has more than delivered on its promise. xTAG RVP has given the doctors and hospitals we work with a better understanding of the viruses circulating among their patients. They are no longer guessing at a diagnosis based on symptoms.”

Prior to xTAG RVP, clinicians rarely tested patients for respiratory viruses or relied on slower, less accurate methods to assist in the diagnosis of respiratory infections. Often, these methods resulted in missed infections or misdiagnosis, which contributed to the overuse of antibiotics, unnecessary medical procedures and prolonged hospital stays, all of which directly add to the burden and costs associated with respiratory infections.

In the first 10 months of using xTAG RVP, ViraCor uncovered surprising patient results including adults and children with dual and triple infections and a high prevalence of rhinovirus and human metapneumovirus among patients. These viruses were not commonly tested for prior to xTAG RVP.

“ViraCor’s ability to offer same day patient test results combined with xTAG RVP’s ability to accurately detect the viruses that are responsible for most respiratory infections is helping our physician and hospital partners improve patient care and reduce healthcare costs,” said John Martin, president of ViraCor.

“Heading into this year’s flu season, we have bolstered our lab’s capability to deliver on the nationwide demand for xTAG RVP, as it is such an effective diagnostic tool for our healthcare partners and their patients.”

The 12 viral targets included in xTAG RVP are as follows:

  • Adenovirus
  • Influenza A (non-specific subtype)
  • Influenza A H1 Influenza A H3
  • Influenza B
  • Metapneumovirus
  • Parainfluenza 1
  • Parainfluenza 2
  • Parainfluenza 3
  • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) A
  • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) B
  • Rhinovirus

For information on how to send xTAG RVP samples to ViraCor, please call (800) 305-5198 or visit www.viracor.com.

About ViraCor Laboratories

ViraCor Laboratories is a leading molecular diagnostic and research laboratory dedicated to providing innovative diagnostic testing to the critical care and immunocompromised patient population, with expertise in infectious diseases including viruses, protozoa and fungi. The company set the standard for the diagnostic industry by turning all patient results around in 24 hours, unlike traditional lab results which can take three days to several weeks. The company is a trusted partner of transplant hospitals nationwide, including 60% of all pediatric transplant hospitals.