An Irish firm says it is taking a leading role in helping in the race among some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical firms to develop a diagnostic test kit for the Zika Virus.
Aalto Bio Reagents supplies antibodies or the raw materials diagnostic test firms use in their kits around the world. It said yesterday it has launched the first Zika Virus antibodies.
The Zika Virus, which is mostly transmitted by mosquitoes, has raised huge health concerns in Brazil and 29 other countries in recent months because the virus can cause infected mothers to give birth to babies with defects including microcephaly — or abnormal smallness of the head.
Dublin-based Aalto Bio said its launch of the antibodies will help others in the race to develop a diagnostic kit.
“While there is no commercially available serology test for Zika Virus, Aalto Bio Reagents is leading the field in supporting development of such assays through supply of its recombinant Zika Virus,” a spokeswoman said.
The company “is first to market in offering an unique raw material to fast track the development of Zika diagnostic tests, thus aiding faster diagnosis and better treatment,” she said.
Aalto Bio is a private company in which chief executive Philip Noone, who was previously at Trinity Biotech, is a major shareholder.
It has been supported by Enterprise Ireland in marketing initiatives around the world the past two years.
The company already provides antibodies used in testing for Rubella and other viruses.
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