Heard Through the Grapevine: Test kit for XMRV to be available from Reno-based VIP Dx

From the  FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton

Courtesy of ProHealth

Copyright © 2009 ProHealth, Inc.



Rumor on the ProHealth Message Boards has it that Viral Immune Pathology Diagnostics (VIP Dx) in Reno, Nevada (www.redlabsusa.com), will soon make available a test kit for the XMRV virus – the retrovirus which most of the world knows by now is thought to be a biomarker for a large proportion of chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) patients.


According to the buzz, ME/CFS patients and their physicians will be able to order VIP Dx kits as soon as pricing is established – and that was due to be Friday, Oct 16, according to a ProHealth ME/CFS Message Board user who has already arranged to receive a kit when they become available for shipment. According to her, “They send it to you by FedEx and you have to have a Dr. sign off and take it to a lab. [VIP Dx] pays for it to be sent back.”


This cannot  be offered in Europe. As of Oct 14, a Co-Cure listserv poster reported that Marguerite Ross, Director of Marketing & Client Relations at VIP Dx, indicated to him “we cannot offer the test in Europe because of the time difference and temperature changes the sample would experience,[which would render it]unsuitable for analysis.” In the same communication, she stated “the test will be available in the USA in about 3-4 weeks as it is undergoing final validation and licensing.”


According to the initial news on the VIP Dx test – posted Oct 9 on the CFS Warrior blog (http://cfswarrior.blogspot.com), there is “a PCR test for the XMRV virus itself. Another test kit recommended by Dr. Paul Cheney is the NKCP & LYEA test… If you want to be tested call the lab at 775-351-1890 and they will ship out a kit to you. Your doctor has to sign off, then take it to a local lab to get the test done and then it gets shipped overnight back to VIP Labs. It takes about two weeks to get the results. The woman I spoke to was very nice. They are swamped with calls but expected it.”


VIP Dx is the new name of the former REDLABS USA, launched years ago with the assistance of Belgium-based ME/CFS researcher Dr. Kenny De Meirleir, who has no financial interest in the venture. It was named after De Meirleir’s own R.E.D. Laboratories, a biotechnology company in Belgium focused on “developing clinical diagnostic tests and therapies for chronic immune diseases.” VIP Dx is located geographically near the Whittemore-Peterson Institute, which is part of the University of Nevada, Reno. VIP’s medical director – Dr. Vincent Lombardi, PhD – was recently hired from the UN-Reno School of Medicine, and reportedly played a role in the WPI testing.


Test Availability from Whittemore-Peterson?


Meanwhile, according to the XMRV FAQ at the WPI website, “The WPI has developed a blood test for the detection of XMRV. The test is currently undergoing clinical evaluation and validation. We hope to have a clinical test available to the public within the year.”



NEWS FROM  http://www.redlabsusa.com/  states:


VIP Dx - Viral Immune Pathology


Dr. Vincent Lombardi, the primary investigator and first author on a paper that appeared in the 8 October 2009 issue of “Science”, is the Director of Operations for the licensing and development of the XAND test assays used by VIP Dx for the detection of XMRV. To read this landmark publication, “Detection of an Infectious Retrovirus, XMRV, in Blood Cells of Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome“, please go to (www.sciencemag.org). We are pleased to announce that VIP Dx has licensed this technology allowing us to offer the most accurate and sensitive testing available for XAND (XMRV associated neuro-immune disease).

VIP Dx 5625 Fox Avenue, Suite 369  Reno, NV 89506  Phone: (775) 351-1890  Fax: (775) 682-851 E-mail: info@vipdx.com 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (PST)

Press Releases

October 23, 2009, Reno, Nevada

It is with great pleasure that Viral Immune Pathology Diagnostics (VIP Dx) announces the introduction of its family of diagnostic tests for the Xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus-like Virus for XMRV associated neurological disease (XAND).

XMRV is a gamma retrovirus and replicates in dividing cells. Low-level latent infections are best detected in activated, dividing cells; to activate a latent virus takes additional cell culture. Productive infections are more easily detected without special treatment of the specimen.

Each XAND specimen must have an XAND acceptance code on the test requisition. The XAND acceptance code is assigned by our staff and will arrive on the test requisition in your specimen kit. Specimens sent without the appropriate acceptance code may result in the delay or inability to perform the diagnostic test. The diagnostic tests available for XAND* are as follows:

XAND by PCR for XMRV active infection: Test Code XAND ($400)

XAND1 by virus culture for XMRV latent infection: Test Code XND1 ($500)

XAND2 by PCR for XMRV active infection and virus culture for latent infection: Test Code XND2 ($650)

We are accepting XAND tests on Tuesdays and Fridays only due to the incubation period required for proper analysis. Therefore, you must have your blood drawn on Monday or Thursday and ship immediately back to us by priority overnight FedEx for receipt by us on Tuesday or Friday.

For XAND testing you must use the coded test requisition provided with your kit. Refer to the updated specimen guidelines in the right column of the test requisition for proper blood draw.

No special preparation is required for specimens; ship specimens at ambient (room) temperature. Specimens must be received within 24 hours for proper analysis. Collection and shipping instructions are included in each kit along with all required specimen tubes. The return clinical envelope and overnight airbill are also included.

To order you test kit, please e-mail your full name, address and telephone number toinfo@vipdx.com. There is a 4-6 week back order. VIP Dx is committed to having everyone tested who wants to be tested. Please accept our sincere apology for any delays. We thank you for your support and patience.

Please visit our website at www.vipdx.com for more information on VIP Dx and our tests.

Please visit Whittemore Peterson Institute for FAQ on the XMRV virus at www.wpinstitute.org.  On behalf of the VIP Dx team, we thank you for your continued support.

* The XAND tests were developed and their performance characteristics were determined and validated by VIP Dx. These tests have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for diagnostic purposes. Medical expertise is required for XAND test interpretation.






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