Lab Professionals and IVD Industry Pull No Punches at AACC 2017: Opioids, Killer Healthcare Infections and Kidney Disease Among Meeting Topics

Press Release
Aug 3, 2017
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SAN DIEGO, CA - August 3, 2017 - Opioid addiction and other drugs of abuse, blood poisoning and crippling diseases driving up healthcare costs and threatening outcomes, were problems taken on directly as laboratory professionals, and the lab supply and IVD industry that support them, met this week. This according to Kalorama Information. The health care market researcher said that drugs of abuse, procalcitonin and acute kidney injury were key focuses of vendors and sessions at the organization's 69th meeting in San Diego, CA. Mechanisms of test performance, such as automation features or point of care/near patient ability were also common themes noted by the firm.

Kalorama Information attended the meeting and met with IVD vendors. Kalorama's comprehensive market study on the IVD market is available here:

A wide range of sessions at this year’s AACC case studies in clinical toxicology, marijuana metabolites and pharmacokinetics, how people try to beat drug testing and defend positive results. With marijuana use permitted in some form in so many states, test providers, pathologists and researches have struggled for an effective way to test for its abuse. An afternoon symposium on Cannabis Impaired Driving: Biological Markers and Behavioral Indicators of Recent Cannabis Intake examined the latest research on the disposition of cannabinoids in blood and oral fluid in occasional and chronic frequent cannabis users after controlled cannabis administration. A Thursday morning symposium "At the Juncture of Pain Management and Addiction" was expected to tackle the lab pathologists role in being the physician's "consultant" in clinical decisions regarding opioid use and the IVD tests available to help them with that role.

IVD Vendors also had offerings in DUA - Medica Corporation of Redford, MA, today announced the expanded capability of its EasyRA® clinical chemistry analyzer to now provide drugs of abuse urine screening (DAU). The company's EasyRA will offer a panel of drugs of abuse with simply interpreted positive or negative results, to eliminate the need for subjective interpretation in the moderately-complex setting. The reagents to enable the new assays are immediately available from Medica’s distribution partners.

The seriousness which the health care system is taking sepsis, a killer of 30 million Americans annual, was on display at the event with an increased focus on PCT testing. PCT or procalcitonin test may be used, along with other tests and examinations, to help detect or rule out sepsis in a seriously ill person. It has primarily been used in people who seek care at emergency departments or who are admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) with signs and symptoms that may be due to sepsis. Beckman Coulter announced PCT Results for their AU480/680/5800 chemistry analyzers. The company said the PCT assay offers laboratories the ability to provide sepsis testing through a simple chemistry menu addition. Roche Diagnostics showcased its Elects BRAHMS PCT Assay which the company said was the only fully automated and integrated PCT solution in the United States.

Sepsis was not the only disease tackled by vendors. Clostridium difficile (C. diff), a health care associated infection, was the target of IVD products from Luminex and Dia Sorin in different assay formasts. Vendor Ortho Clinical Diagnostics touted the establishment of its NephroCheck® test, on OCD's VITROS system, which the vendor said was the first fully automated risk assessment tool for predicting Acute Kidney Injury (AKI). The test has received CE Mark clearance, signifying conformance to all EU regulations, and is now available for purchase and use on Ortho’s VITROS® Systems in Europe.

AKI, the sudden loss of kidney function, can develop without warning and potentially lead to kidney failure and death. THe disease causes as many as two million deaths annually worldwide3. AKI is caused by renal stress contributed to by major surgery, drugs, toxins, serious infection, or chronic illness and trauma. Up to 50 percent of patients in intensive care develop some stage of AKI. bioMerieux and BioPorto are among companies offering testing products in this area.

"AKI is where sepsis was 15 years ago," said Fernando Chaves, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics' global head of Clinical and Scientific Affairs, in an interview with Kalorama. Chavez suggested most tests treat kidney disease too late, and that the testing for heart disease should be a model for AKI.

Testing is only as important as the results can get to the provider so as always point of care (POC) systems was also an important focus. Sekisui Diagnostics promoted its quanitative immunoassay product, its FastPack IP system, that the company says can take tests that once took days and perform them in 12 minutes. Vitamin D, Testosterone, PSA, TSH and Alpha GST were among the tests on the system. Roche continued to promote its cobas Liat, a PCR platform that is point of care and tests for flu, strep and RSV. J Mitra and Company showcased its Advantage Malaria Card, a rapid visual antigen based test for detecting infection with P.falciparum (HRP-2) malaria parasite in whole blood.boasting results in 20 minutes.

Kalorama Information's report, the Worldwide Market for In Vito Diagnostics, completely covers these and other topics in testing and provides business planning and market data. The report can be found here:

About Kalorama Information

Kalorama Information, a division of, supplies the latest in independent medical market research in diagnostics, biotech, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and healthcare; as well as a full range of custom research services. Reports can be purchased through Kalorama’s website and are also available on and

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