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bioMérieux Awarded NHSBT Contract for Bacterial Screening of Platelets

bioMérieux, a world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics was chosen by National Health Service Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) for bacterial screening of platelets in England and North Wales. During an extensive tender process, a number of technologies for screening platelet products were evaluated and bioMérieux' s BacT/ALERT® 3D for bacterial screening has been chosen. 

Patient safety is the prime consideration for NHSBT. Although rare, bacteria may enter a blood pack during either the donation process, or manufacture and storage. Platelets are stored at 22°C and continually agitated which makes them an ideal media for bacteria to grow. Approximately 280,000 adult therapeutic doses of platelets are produced per annum. 

Without screening, platelets have a shelf life of just five days. This is because longer storage times increase the risk of bacterial proliferation, which could lead to sepsis and impact patient prognosis. By screening platelets 36 hours after donation, any bacteria present will have had sufficient time to grow to a detectable limit. This has the dual benefits of allowing the shelf life to be increased to seven days and increasing patient safety. 

Ian Reeves, National Strategy manager for NHSBT, said: "After careful consideration of all the tenders received, bioMérieux' s BacT/ALERT® 3D system was selected to maintain bacterial safety of our platelet products. We will commence screening at our pilot site later this year and should be able to ‘go live' early in 2011." 

"We are proud that NHSBT recognised the performances of our automated technology for bacterial screening," said Alexandre Mérieux, bioMérieux Corporate Vice President, Industrial Microbiology. "bioMérieux is committed to providing diagnostic solutions to improve public health worldwide."   

About NHSBT

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is a special Health Authority in the NHS. It is the organ donation organisation for the UK, with responsibility for matching and allocating donated organs. Its remit also includes the provision of a safe, sufficient supply of blood and associated services to the NHS. 

About BacT/ALERT®

The BacT/ALERT 3D is a state-of-the-art, automated microbial detection system, which has excellent sensitivity and clinical specificity. The system enables the detection of a wide variety of microorganisms in blood products at very low levels. 

The BacT/ALERT has an outstanding track record of delivering rapid and reliable results, 24 hours a day and is used for bacterial testing routinely by blood banks in more than 35 countries worldwide. 

BacT/ALERT BPA culture bottles (aerobic) and BacT/ALERT BPN culture bottles (anaerobic) are specifically developed for the blood collection industry with a specific intended use and regulatory requirements. 

For more information on the BacT/ALERT® 3D, visit http://www.biomerieux.com  

About bioMérieux  

Advancing Diagnostics to Improve Public Health 

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

bioMérieux 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.  

bioMérieux is listed on the NYSE Euronext Paris Market (Symbol:BIM - ISIN: FR0010096479). Other information can be found at www.biomerieux.com


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