CDC grants CTK Biotech license for use of chimeric virus in dengue diagnostic tests

Dec. 19, 2013

CTK Biotech, Inc., and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reached a license agreement that grants CTK the worldwide-exclusive diagnostic commercial rights to a patented dengue virus developed by a CDC laboratory.

Utilizing this advanced technology, CTK has recently launched an improved line of its OnSite Rapid Tests for the detection of anti-dengue IgG and IgM in serum, plasma, and whole blood specimens. Previous generations of dengue diagnostic tests were limited in their ability to detect IgM, which is particularly important during the early stage of dengue infection when it is the predominant disease marker.

“The chimeric virus developed by the CDC has the potential to dramatically improve the diagnosis of dengue virus infection,” says Ta-Hsiang Chao, PhD, Director of Research and Development for CTK Biotech. “It preserves all antibody binding sites on the viral surface, a critical factor for detecting both IgG and IgM produced in response to the native virus.”

The improved capacity to detect, diagnose, and treat dengue is particularly significant as the global spread of the disease continues. An estimated 400 million dengue virus infections occur annually, and 40% of the world’s population lives in areas with dengue virus transmission. While Southeast Asia typically bears much of the global burden, dengue virus transmission is common in 100 tropical and sub-tropical countries around the world, including nations in Asia, the Pacific, the Americas, Africa, and the Caribbean. In 2013, Europe experienced its first sustained transmission of dengue fever since the 1920s. Until a safe and effective dengue vaccine is available, further spread of the virus is inevitable. Read more about rapid tests provided by CTK Biotech.