Improvement in Diagnostics and Treatment of Influenza

November 5th, 2013 in ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS – Viroclinics takes the opportunity to contribute a virological Continuing Education topic for the November 2013 issue of Medical Laboratory Observer (MLO) as a contribution to the ongoing improvements of influenza diagnostic tests, vaccines and antiviral drugs.

Antiviral drug against influenza are still urgently needed

Anti-influenza antiviral drugs are not a substitute for vaccines. They are used in addition to vaccines in public health planning for the control of influenza. The antiviral drugs have been approved for treatment of acute uncomplicated influenza and are used as part of pandemic preparations by government.

Virus shedding and reduce of transmissibility

In clinical trials with antivirals that directly inhibit virus production, quantitative culture may give information on the duration of infectious virus shedding and the ability to reduce transmissibility. Quantitative culture requires high-level expertise and is routinely offered by Viroclinics in clinical trials for new anitiviral influenza drugs. The various levels of required influenza diagnostics applied in different clinical settings are illustrated in the figure below.

Viroclinics’ broad and deep expertise

Interpretation and technical performance of diagnostic tests for influenza require a high level of expertise and Viroclinics would like to share its expertise in this field with other labs. With the information shared in the MLO article, Viroclinics intends to serve the biopharmaceutical industry for the development of antivirals and vaccines with state-of-the-art diagnostics, custom-made models in (pre)clinical drug testing and clinical trial operations services.

Background information

Viroclinics Biosciences BV (Viroclinics) is a virology contract research organization, serving the biopharmaceutical community as a pre-clinical and clinical reference laboratory for supporting the development of new chemical entities, vaccines and antiviral compounds targeting viral infectious diseases.

Viroclinics was founded in 2001 as a spin-off from the virology department at the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. It has since grown into a company exceeding 60 FTE of dedicated scientists and technical experts, and operates within a network of key opinion leaders as consultants. As of September 2012 the company migrated to a location with 3000 m2 office space and new laboratory facilities, accommodating BSL 2 and BSL 3. Additionally, a samples processing facility has been opened in Boston USA, at the start of 2013.

Viroclinics operates at a global level, being the preferred virology testing laboratory for several of the top-10 Biopharmaceutical companies. Organizationally the company has matured to a stage that a QA department, a clinical service department, a pre-clinical service department, an assay development department and a clinical trial operation department all work in an ISO 15189 accredited quality management system, expanded with elements of GLP and GCP.