GeneXpert test has revolutionized the diagnosis of TB, as it allows detecting the presence of TB bacterium and its resistance to rifampicin in only two hours. Photograph by Andrea Bussotti
Letter |

Letter to Cepheid to reinstate launch of GeneXpert Omni TB testing system

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Photograph by Andrea Bussotti

The 'Time for $5 Coalition', composed of over 150 civil society organisations and including MSF, sent this letter to US diagnostics corporation Cepheid, calling on the company to reinstate its plans to launch the new community-based testing system, GeneXpert Omni.

Communities affected by TB, HIV, HCV and other diseases have been waiting since 2015 for the launch of Omni to improve access to point-of-care rapid diagnostic testing. During this time extensive public funds and resources have been invested in the R&D and trialing of Omni. Yet, Cepheid has decided to cancel the commercialisation of Omni without explanation, mitigation plans, or consideration of the impact of this decision on affected communities.

In light of the deadly TB testing gap highlighted in the WHO’s Global TB Report 2021, MSF calls on Cepheid to launch Omni and ensure TB tests are affordable and adapted to the needs of countries with high TB burden.