SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- The USDA has granted Synbiotics Corp. conditional approval for United States marketing and distribution of its Avian Influenza Virus Type A Antigen Test Kit that provides fast and highly sensitive detection of the virus, including subtype H5N1. The agency is reviewing Synbiotics' application for full approval.

This product is already being marketed in other parts of the world under the trademark Flu DETECT(TM).



"Synbiotics is pleased to be able to offer this test to the U.S. poultry industry as a significant tool for the active surveillance and rapid detection of Avian Influenza Virus Type A in infected flocks," said Paul Hays, Synbiotics' CEO. "We look forward to receiving full USDA approval."



The Flu DETECT antigen test kit, launched in spring 2005 at VIV Asia in Bangkok, detects all 16 sub-types of Influenza Type A and can be used in the laboratory or on the farm.



Synbiotics' research shows this test to be 1,000 times more sensitive than other commonly used antigen test kits. In addition, it detects all subtypes of Influenza Type A, even with a low virus load, and provides results in just 15 minutes. The test is economical and easy to use.



The kit's technology helps farmers, veterinarians and government health officials implement proper surveillance measures, manage disease and ultimately reduce the economic loss associated with highly pathogenic subtypes of Avian Influenza Virus Type A including H5N1. This disease causes severe illness and death in poultry. In rare cases, it has been transmitted from birds to humans.



Evaluations by national animal health agencies in Thailand and Vietnam found Flu DETECT to be fast-acting and highly sensitive. The National Institute of Animal Health in Thailand reported that Flu DETECT is "easy to use" and provides quick results. A test by the Department of Animal Health in Vietnam noted Flu DETECT's "high specificity" to the H5N1 subtype of Avian Influenza and its sensitivity to samples with an extremely small amount of the virus.



Synbiotics began marketing its Flu DETECT antigen test kit in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Oceania and Latin America in late 2005. In the U.S., the Avian Influenza Type A Virus antigen test kit is available directly from Synbiotics.



In addition to Flu DETECT, Synbiotics offers ProFLOK(R) AIV +, a USDA-approved laboratory test that detects the presence of Avian Influenza Type A virus antibodies in serum. ProFLOK AIV + ELISA methodology has been endorsed in the United States by the National Poultry Improvement Plan, a cooperative program of federal and state governments and the U.S. poultry industry to improve poultry and poultry products through the use of new technology.



Synbiotics Corp. develops, manufactures and markets veterinary diagnostics, instrumentation and related products for the companion animal, large animal and poultry markets worldwide. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Synbiotics manufactures and distributes its products through its operations in San Diego and Lyon, France.



SOURCE: Synbiotics Corp. via Business Wire.