UPDATE 1-US FDA clears Luminex test to ID respiratory bugs

Thu Jan 3, 2008 2:46pm EST

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(Adds details about test)

WASHINGTON Jan 3 (Reuters) - U.S. regulators on Thursday said they approved a new test from Luminex Corp. (LMNX.O) to detect a dozen infectious respiratory viruses, including the strain of influenza that has been a major factor in epidemics.

Luminex shares rose 5.7 percent to $17.16 on Nasdaq in afternoon trade following the news.

The Food and Drug Administration cleared the test to detect, among other viruses, Influenza A, the most severe human flu.

The test, called the xTag Respiratory Viral Panel, analyzes genetic material found in secretions from the back of the throat.

"Nucleic acids tests such as the xTag Respiratory Viral Panel utilize small amounts of genetic material, and then replicate it many times," Daniel Schultz, director of the FDA's device center, said in a statement.

The swab test also identifies viruses that cause the common cold, strep throat, tonsillitis and those that can lead to infant pneumonia. Luminex said the 12 viruses detected represent about 85 percent of respiratory viral infections.

(Reporting by Kim Dixon, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

((kim.dixon@reuters.com ; +1 202 354 5848; Reuters Messaging: kim.dixon.reuters.com@reuters.net )) Keywords: LUMINEX/FDA

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