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Rapid Test Identifies Superbug

Becton Dickinson (Franklin Lakes, NJ) wants to get a test on the market that can tell the difference between regular staph infections and drug resistant forms in just two hours. The test was developed by GeneOhm, which BD acquired for $230 million last year. BD estimates that the most dangerous strain of staph annually affects 125,000 people in the United States.

The serious illness not only threatens the lives of patients but also costs hospitals billions of dollars in treatment and hospital stays. An article in the Star Ledger notes that BD's rights to its MRSA test that is already on the market has come under fire from BioMerieux. The French company alleges that it licensed some of the underlying technology to GeneOhm and has requested arbitration to end the licensing agreement, according to the article. MRSA, which stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylo coccus aureus, is the most dangerous strain of staph, as it is resistant to certain antibiotics.

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