Roche Molecular Diagnostics announced today that the FDA has approved its new dual-PCR target HIV-1 viral load test to quantify the amount of virus in a patient’s blood .
The COBAS AmpliPrep/COBAS TaqMan HIV-1 Test, v2.0 is the first quantitative viral load test to amplify and detect two separate regions of a target genome and offers a fully automated and reliable solution for physicians to make informed treatment decisions for HIV-1 patients undergoing antiretroviral therapy .
“With the introduction of this test, Roche is the only company in the world to offer a dual-PCR target quantitative viral load assay,” said Paul Brown, president and CEO of Roche Molecular Diagnostics. “By virtue of its design, the COBAS AmpliPrep/COBAS TaqMan HIV-1 Test, v2.0 can improve the ability of physicians and laboratories to obtain reliable information about HIV-infected patients in order to make informed treatment decisions.” Highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) and viral load tests, which are used to monitor the amount of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) circulating in blood, have contributed to a 13-year increase in life expectancy for people infected with HIV. According to the World Health Organization, 33 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2008. That same year, some 2.7 million people became newly infected, and 2.0 million died of AIDS, including 280,000 children .
Roche is firmly committed to expanding access to laboratory testing in resource-limited settings via its humanitarian programs, such as AmpliCare and other initiatives .
“Treatment of HIV patients with new anti-viral therapies, such as integrase inhibitors, has met with success, but can also introduce selective pressures that result in changes to the HIV genome, which could make it harder to detect and treat,” said Tri Do, M.D., director for clinical research and scientific affairs, Roche Molecular Diagnostics, and an HIV-treating physician. “Roche’s new dual-PCR target HIV-1 viral load test is designed to detect current and emerging genomic variants of HIV with increased sensitivity.”
This test is intended for use in conjunction with clinical presentation and other laboratory markers of disease progress for the clinical management of HIV-1 infected patients. The test can be used to assess patient prognosis by measuring the baseline HIV-1 RNA level or to monitor the effects of antiretroviral therapy by measuring changes in EDTA plasma HIV-1 RNA levels during the course of antiretroviral treatment .