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Enzo Biochem seeks approval for new tests

Testing at Enzo Biochemical. (May 21, 2003)

Testing at Enzo Biochemical. (May 21, 2003) Credit: Newsday, 2003 / David L. Pokress

The research and health-care testing company Enzo Biochem Inc. has applied for New York State approval of a new device that, it said, could usher in a new generation of rapid, early tests for hepatitis and other viral or bacterial infections.

Although Enzo's headquarters  is in Manhattan, it operates a set of buildings in Farmingdale that house its scientific, laboratory and in-house manufacturing operations. In recent quarters the Long Island operations of Enzo have outperformed the rest of the company's profit and sales.

Enzo's new initiative is an application for state health department approval of its first assay -- or test regimen -- based on the company's proprietary AmpiProbe technology, for nucleic acid detection.

The company said the market for nucleic-acid tests is $2 billion a year, and said it sought approval for the products in New York because it is widely considered to have "the country's most comprehensive licensure program," the company said in a news release Tuesday.

The company said its tests can provide accurate results faster and more efficiently than conventional PCR, or polymerase chain reaction, techniques.

It plans to release clinical findings on the product at a March 31 microbiology meeting in London.

With sales of about $102 million in the past 12 months, Enzo showed a loss of $16.3 million.

Photo: Testing at Enzo.

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