Siemens Healthineers, Tarrytown, NY, has been awarded $8.9 million by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to pursue development of an immunoassay to detect Zika virus for use on the company’s Advia Centaur XPT, Advia Centaur XP, and Advia Centaur CP immunoassay systems for the clinical laboratory. According to Siemens, it anticipates that such an assay would also be developed for its next-generation Atellica system.

The assay will be developed to detect IgM antibodies specific to the Zika virus. IgM antibodies are early indicators of disease that typically emerge soon after the onset of Zika-related symptoms and remain detectable for approximately 12 weeks after infection.

Franz Walt, MBA, Siemens Healthineers.

Franz Walt, MBA, Siemens Healthineers.

“As serious concerns continue about the transmission and spread of the Zika virus, Siemens Healthineers is focused on providing laboratories with a range of effective and reliable solutions, and we are pleased that the assistant secretary for preparedness and response’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority has committed to help fund our potential development of an assay for our systems,” says Franz Walt, president of laboratory diagnostics at Siemens Healthineers. “With the availability of a Zika IgM assay on our systems, both mid- and high-volume clinical laboratories will have the ability to easily integrate Zika testing into their existing immunoassay testing workflows to inform fast, accurate clinical decisions.”

The Siemens Healthineers Advia Centaur/Atellica Zika IgM immunoassay would be a significant addition to the company’s offerings, which include the recently released real-time molecular Versant Zika RNA 1.0 assay and the Novagnost Zika virus IgM µ-capture assay.  The company has also received FDA emergency use authorization for its Versant molecular test.

For more information, visit Siemens Healthineers.