“UK Study Publication Does Not Impact XMRV Research”
RENO, NV - In October 2009, together with the Cleveland Clinic and National Cancer Institute, the Whittemore Peterson Institute published findings in Science regarding the discovery of XMRV in the blood of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) patients. The testing method, validated in multiple other labs using positive control samples, uses a unique process that was extensively peer reviewed before publication and provides the most accurate results available.
• This virus culture test is the same method used in the Science publication, and is the only scientifically validated methodology to find XMRV.
• Some labs, including the recent study published in the UK, have used non-validated PCR [polymerase chain reaction] and whole blood PCR assays. At this time no single PCR or whole blood assay alone has been validated as accurately detecting XMRV, and is therefore not an appropriate way to study or diagnose the presence of the virus.
WPI has licensed the latest version of the [virus culture] test to Viral Immune Pathways Diagnostic Laboratories (VIP Dx) in Reno, Nev. The non-exclusive license allows patients and their doctors access to a reliable diagnostic tool.
The newly refined test uses a virus culture methodology that yields more reliable results in one test at a lower cost to patients.*
“Our mission at WPI is to discover bio markers of disease and translate those discoveries into accurate diagnostics and effective treatments for patients,” said WPI Founder and President Annette Whittemore. “We continue to talk to other clinical laboratory companies, both nationally and internationally, in order to make the test available to a wider audience.”
WPI Research Scientist and co-author of the Science paper, Dr. Vincent Lombardi, is providing technical assistance and oversight of the VIP Dx testing. In exchange for the non-exclusive license, VIP Dx will pay a royalty to WPI for each test it conducts.
“We structured the licensing contract to be sure that any and all profits that might emerge at VIP Dx from XMRV testing come directly back to WPI to benefit the research program” said Whittemore.
Dr. Lombardi is an employee of WPI, and has no personal financial interest in VIP Dx. Likewise, the Whittemore family put their interest in VIP Dx into a trust to benefit WPI.
The availability of these tests has a dramatic impact to the CFS/ME community. These tests allow licensed laboratories to begin answering important questions about XMRV’s incidence in disease and prevalence in the world. WPI hopes that this will generate further research related to XMRV. “The institutes’ driving goal continues to be the translation of research to meaningful results for patients,” explained Whittemore.
It is still unknown exactly how XMRV impacts humans. Scientists who understand the potential ramifications of human infection with retroviruses take the study of XMRV seriously. WPI researchers along with many other scientists around the world are actively engaged in advancing research in this field.
Source: Whittemore-Peterson News Release, Jan 14, 2010
* NOTE: According to ProHealth ME/CFS Message Board posts, calls to the VIP Dx labs, which are revamping their website, indicate the new test is a $450 virus culture - an improved culture method that eliminates the need for additional testing.