MicroPhage, Cardinal Health ink deal on MRSA test

Longmont, CO-based MicroPhage has reached an agreement granting Cardinal Health exclusive rights to market the KeyPath MRSA/MSSA blood culture test product line in North America. Under this agreement, Cardinal Health will gain the exclusive distribution rights to the KeyPath MRSA/MSSA blood culture test and other products in development for testing blood culture specimens for Staphylococcus aureus in the U.S., Canada and U.S. territories. In return, MicroPhage will receive operational funding for development and commercialization of new products.

"We are very pleased to have Cardinal Health as our exclusive marketing partner in the U.S. and Canada," said Don Mooney, CEO and president of MicroPhage. "Their outstanding reputation and presence in U.S. hospitals affords MicroPhage the greatest opportunity for success with the launch of its first diagnostic test."

For clearance, the KeyPath test was evaluated in a study of 1,116 blood samples at four major U.S. hospital centers. The test was 98.9% accurate for MRSA identification and 99.4% accurate in determining MSSA within the organisms identified as S. aureus.

MicroPhage is developing a number of tests to more rapidly identify bacteria. But doctors are also interested in determining ahead of time whether an antibiotic will treat the condition--and fast. And this is what MicroPhage comes in. While other antibiotic susceptibility tests take up to three days to yield results, MicroPhage's offers them within 24 hours--the first and only to do so, Mooney and Brian MacDonald, VP, sales and marketing, told FierceMedicalDevices.

MicroPhage is very excited about the deal, as it serves as a validation of the company's technology. The company now hopes to find strategic partners to fund its next product or two, MacDonald told FMD.

The company was funded by angels--to the tune of about $20 million--until about a week ago. But now the company anticipates getting more partners and investors in the future. And although it can't get into specifics at this time, the company is in early relationship talks with other potential partners on other tests. The company hopes to be able to gain clearance for one test next year.

- see the MicroPhage release