Tuberculosis test readied for push

The first new diagnostic test for tuberculosis in more than a century will be launched to the press within the next fortnight.

Oxford Immunotec, a clinical diagnostics firm that commercialises technology developed at the city’s university, has called in Northbank Communications to promote its T SPOT test, which is designed to replace the century-old skin test for the infection.

Northbank account director Katja Stout said the PR campaign would launch

with a ‘high-visibility media launch in London to coincide with marketing to clinicians and laboratory personnel’.

The PR programme will also target the healthcare and science business press and broadcast media ‘to raise the profile of Oxford Immunotec as an important newcomer to the world of diagnostics,’ said Stout.

Northbank will run national media relations campaigns in four launch countries – the UK, Germany, Italy and Switzerland – from its UK and German offices.

The existing skin test for TB involves repeat appointments and takes a week to process in the laboratory. The T SPOT test produces a result in a day.

Incidence of TB rose from 11.7 to 13.4 per 100,000 of the population in England from 1997 to 2002.

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