Associate Professor David Anderson with Ken Windle, Chairman and CEO Advent Pharmaceuticals. (Photo courtesy 2012 PRIME Awards)
Burnet Institute was awarded the inaugural Australian Life Sciences Innovations Award for the CD4 Point of Care Test project at the pharmaceutical industry PRIME Awards in Sydney last night.
The PRIME awards have been running for eight years, recognising excellence in the judicious, appropriate, safe and efficacious marketing of medicines in Australia.
The Australian Life Sciences Innovations Award, is a new category and recognises an Australian discovery that led to, or has the direct potential to lead to an innovative new life sciences product for the management, prevention or treatment of human disease.
Institute Deputy Director and CD4 Test developer Associate Professor David Anderson received the award on behalf of the Burnet and the test development team.
“It was an honour to receive the Life Sciences Innovation Award, which recognises the contribution of the Australian medical research and biotechnology to both Australian and global health,” Associate Professor Anderson said.
“This is a fantastic recognition for the Burnet and for the test development team.”
The Burnet point-of-care test enables CD4 T-cell levels to be determined quickly and conveniently using a finger-prick blood sample, enabling patients to receive life-saving antiretroviral treatment.
Current CD4 tests cost more than US$10 and require trained health workers and highly trained technicians to perform the tests on expensive equipment requiring power, clean water and regular maintenance.
“It’s easy to diagnose HIV but it’s hard to identify those who need therapy, our test will change that, providing cost effective testing for up to 33 million patients worldwide,” Associate Professor Anderson said.
Burnet has recently licensed the CD4 Test to Omega Diagnostics Group PLC for manufacture and sale as VISITECT® CD4 throughout the developing world.