Quest Diagnostics Inc. (DGX) can now let you know if it’s safe to be out in crowds on both sides of the pond.
The Madison, N.J.-based healthcare conglomerate said European regulators approved its Simplexa test for the H1N1 influenza virus, better known as Swine Flu. Developed through its Focus Diagnostics unit, the new test kit is getting its initial rollout this week at the MEDICA 2009 conference in Dusseldorf, Germany.
The new test uses reverse-transcription polymerase chain reactions and nasal and throat samples to detect the flu virus. Physicians have lauded its speed, noting that “fast turnaround time(s) can aid in clinical management of patients and allow hospitals to segregate infected patients from other high-risk individuals,” according to Dr. Harald Kessler, head of the molecular research unit at the Medical University of Graz, Austria.
The CE Mark allows sales throughout the 35 countries of the European Union and in other countries that recognize the mark. Test is also available in the U.S. under an emergency provision from the Food & Drug Administration.
Separately, the company disclosed it priced $750 million in new debt, selling $500 million in 10-year senior notes yielding 4.75 percent yearly and $250 million in 20-year senior notes with a 5.75-percent yield. The proceeds are expected to be used to retire older debt and to fund possible acquisitions.