OXFORD, United Kingdom and MARLBOROUGH, Mass., Nov. 30, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Oxford Immunotec Global PLC (Nasdaq:OXFD), a global, commercial-stage diagnostics company focused on developing and commercializing proprietary tests for the management of immune-regulated conditions, today announced that it has been selected by NHS England to provide tuberculosis (TB) testing for persons recently immigrating to England as part of the National Health System’s (NHS) new strategy for TB control in England. The NHS’s new strategy comes in response to growing TB rates in England and represents a significant new initiative in the fight to control this deadly infection.
In connection with this strategy, the NHS formed regional TB control boards and issued a tender for laboratories and other service providers to bid for contracts to test 16 to 35 year olds who recently arrived in England from countries with a high incidence of latent tuberculosis infection. The tender lasts for a minimum of three years, with estimated testing volumes of approximately 50,000 tests/year. The tender included only interferon gamma release assays, or IGRAs. The tuberculin skin test was not considered for this program.
Oxford Immunotec won bids in six out of eight regions, representing 90% of the forecasted test volume. Winning bidders in each region were selected on the basis of service capability, quality and price. Oxford Immunotec will provide T-SPOT®TB testing services from its Oxford Diagnostic Laboratory (ODL®) in the United Kingdom. ODL will also provide educational, administrative and logistical support for the TB control boards in each of the regions in which Oxford Immunotec won a bid.
"We are delighted to have been selected for this tender on the basis of our high quality and competitive testing service in the UK," said Dr. Peter Wrighton-Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Oxford Immunotec. "In much of the developed world, the majority of TB cases arise from recent immigrants carrying a latent infection that reactivates after arrival. The UK is leading the world in starting a national program to screen high-risk immigrants. We are proud to be at the forefront of this important new initiative, which could have significant policy implications for TB control in both the UK and for other developed world countries.”
About Oxford Immunotec
Oxford Immunotec Global PLC is a global, commercial-stage diagnostics company focused on developing and commercializing proprietary tests for the management of immune-regulated conditions. The Company's first product is the T-SPOT.TB test, which is used to test for tuberculosis infection. The T-SPOT.TB test has been approved for sale in over 50 countries, including the United States, where it has received pre-market approval from the Food and Drug Administration, Europe, where it has obtained a CE mark, as well as Japan and China. The T-SPOT.CMV test is the Company's second product and the first in a series of products intended for the transplantation market. Overall, the Company has seven active development programs, each of which leverages our T cell, B cell and innate immune measuring technology. The Company is headquartered near Oxford, U.K. and in Marlborough, Mass. Additional information can be found at www.oxfordimmunotec.com.
Oxford Diagnostic Laboratories are a trading division of Oxford Immunotec Ltd.
T-SPOT, ODL and the Oxford Immunotec logo are trademarks of Oxford Immunotec Ltd.
More information on the TB testing program
The testing program will provide access to latent TB infection testing for all new and existing patients on primary care practice lists (initially focusing on new patient registrations) who have been in the UK for five years or less, are aged 16 – 35 years and are from a defined list of high incidence countries (those with a TB rate of ≥150/100,000 including sub Saharan Africa).
Patients testing positive for latent TB infection will be referred to the local specialist TB service for exclusion of active TB disease and treatment of latent TB infection. This will decrease the number of people developing active TB disease and reduce time to diagnosis of those with active TB disease.
The program is expected to contribute significantly to the aim of reducing TB in England over the next 5 years by:
- Improvement in early detection and diagnosis of TB
- Identification of latent TB infection
- Identification of active disease
- Those who chose not to be treated for latent TB infection will have an increased awareness of their risk of developing active TB and are likely to be diagnosed earlier if they progress to active TB disease
- Those who chose to be treated for their latent TB infection will significantly reduce their life time risk of developing active TB disease
- Reduction in active transmission of TB disease with decreased numbers of people developing active TB disease and reduced time to diagnosis
- Improvement in the commissioning of TB testing and treatment
- Improvement in the quality of care and value for money
- Raised community awareness of TB improving prognosis and treatment experience of people affected by TB
As well as providing funding for the latent TB infection testing, the program also contains money to be disbursed to the regional TB control boards to provide key services related to the program for which there has not historically been any systematic commissioning or provision.
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Source: Oxford Immunotec