Verigene® BC-GN Positioned to Provide Rapid Diagnosis of “Phantom Menace” Superbug

NORTHBROOK, Ill., Dec. 23, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nanosphere, Inc. (NASDAQ:NSPH), a company enhancing medicine through targeted and flexible molecular diagnostics, confirms that the Verigene® Gram-Negative Blood Culture Test (BC-GN) is the only FDA-cleared test with the ability to rapidly identify the antibiotic resistance gene associated with a dangerous new superbug.

The emerging multi-drug resistant bacterium is a type of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) that presents with an antibiotic resistance profile that is different than other types of CRE. As a result, it has largely escaped the detection of health officials, making it particularly dangerous and earning it the nickname “the phantom menace.” (1)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a total of 52 CRE isolates producing OXA-48-like carbapenemases – the enzyme associated with the new superbug – collected from 43 patients in 19 states between June 2010 and August 2015. Notably, while just one case was identified in 2010, 11 cases were reported each year from 2013-2015. The CDC stresses the importance of monitoring the emergence of carbapenemases like “the phantom menace” in order to limit the spread of drug-resistant infections.

Verigene BC-GN detects five of the most common causes of CRE, including OXA-48-like carbapenemases, days faster than traditional testing methods, allowing hospitals to rapidly implement infection control measures and clinicians to optimize treatment for patients with resistant infections.

"The increasing number of cases of CRE and the rise of ‘the phantom menace’ superbug underscores the critical need for rapid detection of a broad range of multi-drug resistance genes," said Michael McGarrity, Nanosphere's president and chief executive officer. "Our unique ability to identify genetic resistance positions Nanosphere to meet the needs of healthcare providers as they continue to fight the spread of antimicrobial resistance.”

About the Verigene® System
The Verigene System uses Nanosphere's core proprietary gold nanoparticle chemistry to offer highly sensitive, highly specific molecular diagnostic results through low-cost multiplexing. The Verigene System rapidly and accurately detects infectious pathogens and drug resistance markers by targeting conserved genetic regions of a bacterium or virus. Currently, the multiplexed Verigene tests target infections of the bloodstream, respiratory tract and gastrointestinal tract. The information gathered from Verigene test results enables clinicians to make informed patient treatment decisions more quickly, which may result in improved patient outcomes, reduced costs, optimized antibiotic therapy and reduced spread of antibiotic resistance.

About CRE
Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are a type of multi-drug-resistant bacteria sometimes referred to as "superbugs." They are especially difficult to treat because they have become resistant to a category of antibiotics that includes penicillin, amoxicillin and several other commonly used drugs. According to the CDC, mortality rates associated with CRE infections can be as high as 50%.

About Nanosphere, Inc.
Nanosphere is enhancing medicine through targeted molecular diagnostics that result in earlier disease detection, optimal patient treatment and improved healthcare economics. The Company’s versatile technology platform, the Verigene® System, enables clinicians to rapidly detect the most complex, costly and deadly infectious diseases through a low cost and simple-to-use multiplexed diagnostic test. The combination of this innovative technology and Nanosphere’s customer-driven solutions keeps commitment to the patient at the forefront of its business. Nanosphere is based in Northbrook, IL. Additional information is available at

1 Superbug known as ‘phantom menace’ on the rise in the U.S. The Washington Post web site. Published December 4, 2015. Accessed December 22, 2015.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS:  Except for historical information, the matters discussed in this press release are "forward-looking statements" and are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from these forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, the following: (i) Nanosphere's ability to develop commercially viable products; (ii) Nanosphere's ability to achieve profitability; (iii) Nanosphere's ability to produce and market its products; (iv) Nanosphere's ability to obtain regulatory approval of its products; (v) Nanosphere's ability to protect its intellectual property; (vi) competition and alternative technologies; and (vii) Nanosphere's ability to obtain additional financing to support its operations. Additional risks are discussed in the Company's current filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although the Company believes the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be attained. The forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. 

Michael Rice, LifeSci Advisors

Zachary Crowther, Director of Marketing


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