Roche, Thermo unite for sepsis diagnostics

Thermo Fisher has extended a deal to get its sepsis test on Roche's Elecsys Cobas platform.--Courtesy of Roche

Thermo Fisher ($TMO) and Roche Diagnostics ($RHHBY) have extended their sepsis diagnostics partnership, pairing Thermo's immunoassay with Roche's testing platform to improve treatment and slash healthcare costs.

Under the royalty-bearing deal, Thermo's BRAHMS test for the sepsis biomarker procalcitonin (PCT) will be available on Roche's Elecsys Cobas system in all countries outside the U.S., the companies said. PCT testing provides reliable, early detection of sepsis, Thermo said, allowing physicians to manage treatment and possibly prevent some of the hundreds of thousands of deaths attributed to hospital-borne infections each year.

And that's where Roche comes in, Thermo Clinical Diagnostics President Marc Tremblay said. Cobas systems are omnipresent in testing labs, and pairing BRAHMS with the Elecsys platform means Thermo can count on a huge installed base in immunoassay facilities around the world.

"The continuation of our close collaboration with Roche significantly strengthens our ability to make our biomarker test globally available to a broader patient population," Tremblay said in a statement.

Neither company disclosed financial particulars.

Early sepsis diagnosis can spell the difference between life and death for patients, but the reliability of PCT testing can also help curtail the staggering cost of treatment, Tremblay said. Treating severe sepsis costs U.S. hospitals about $16 billion a year, according to the company, much of which is attributed to repeat testing and frequent misdiagnosis.

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