News Releases

Oct. 5, 2001

"RapidVue Influenza A/B" Released to the Market
(Detection Kit for Influenza Type A and Type B Antigens)

Sumitomo Seiyaku Biomedical Co., Ltd. announces the release on October 19, 2001 of the in-vitro diagnostic kit “RapidVue Influenza A/B” for the detection of influenza type A and type B antigens.

“RapidVue Influenza A/B” is an immuno-chromatograph antigen detection kit using two kinds of monoclonal antibodies specific for influenza type A and type B antigens.

“RapidVue Influenza A/B” was developed by Quidel Corporation, USA, and has been marketed in the US and Europe since 1999. It is highly valued for its ability to detect influenza type A and type B viruses in the nasal cavity without the need for special instruments, simply and in as short a time as 10 minutes. It has demonstrated greater sensitivity and specificity than conventional influenza virus diagnostics, with easy evaluation of results.

The transient infectious disease that is accompanied by symptoms of rhinitis, pituita, sneezing, sore throat, cough, fever, etc., is commonly referred to as a cold (cold syndrome), but the pathogens causing it vary, with many possible types of viruses and bacteria responsible. It is well known that influenza is an acute respiratory tract infection caused by influenza viruses, often producing complications, and sometimes accompanied by a secondary bacterial infection inducing pneumonia in geriatric patients or encephalopathy and cerebritis in pediatric cases. It is important to clearly distinguish it from the common cold syndrome, likewise an acute respiratory tract infection. Viral mutations in recent years have made the identification of influenza even more critical. During the nationwide outbreak of influenza type A in 1997 –1998, many infant deaths were reported due to acute encephalopathy and cerebritis.

A therapeutic drug specifically for influenza type A was made eligible for reimbursement through the National Health Insurance scheme in 1998, and another drug against both types A and B became reimbursable in 2001. Quick and accurate diagnosis of influenza has grown more important.

The launch of “RapidVue Influenza A/B” will lead to the rapid and simple determination of viral infection by influenza, and is expected to contribute to the early application of appropriate therapy.