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Gen-Probe’s diagnostic tool wins Otterson award

CONNECT has announced that Gen-Probe’s Procelix blood screening assay will receive this year’s William W. Otterson Award.

In memory of CONNECT’s founder and first executive director, Bill Otterson — who was a La Jolla resident — the award is one of the highest honors given to technologies and products developed in San Diego that have demonstrated a significant impact on society worldwide, according to a press release.

Approved in 2002, the product, initially designed to screen for HIV-1 and hepatitis C,

was the first FDA-approved nucleic acid test for screening donated human blood. Since its release, the assay has been expanded to include hepatitis B. Gen-Probe also has developed a separate test for West Nile Virus. These assays have significantly increased the safety of the world’s supply of donated blood, reducing the risk of contracting these deadly viruses from a blood transfusion in the U.S. to approximately one in 2 ,000,000.

The Otterson Award will be presented on Dec. 9 at the 24th annual CONNECT Most Innovative New Product (MIP) Awards Luncheon. To learn more about CONNECT visitwww.connect.org