New Testing Procedure Holds Promise As a Critical Tool in the Global Effort to Eliminate Malaria

Field laboratory-deployable molecular test up to 80,000 times more sensitive than current options

CINCINNATI, April 24, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As the global community gathers for World Malaria Day to celebrate successes and plot strategy to eliminate the disease from the face of the earth, a new ray of hope is emerging from a surprising place: the testing side of the equation.

Meridian Bioscience, Inc. of Cincinnati, Ohio (NASDAQ:VIVO) has developed illumigene® Malaria, a molecular-based, field laboratory-deployed test for malaria that is up to 80,000 times more sensitive at detecting the malaria parasite than current testing options. The test was developed by Meridian with the technical assistance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar, Senegal.

illumigene Malaria has the potential to change current practices. Faster and more accurate diagnosis is vital in the fight against malaria,” said Professor Daouda Ndiaye, Department of Parasitology-Mycology, Cheikh Anta Diop University. “Earlier diagnosis enables the correct treatment to be prescribed, which leads to better clinical outcomes for the person with malaria and keeps malaria treatments for the right people. And because detecting the malaria parasite in people with a low parasite count has proven difficult, a robust, sensitive and field laboratory-deployable diagnostic tool is needed to track the malaria reservoir in pre-elimination regions. illumigene Malaria shows this capacity.”

illumigene Malaria was awarded first place for innovation in emergency treatment and point-of-care testing at the prestigious Journées Internationales de Biologie /Association des Colloques Nationaux des Biologistes Conference in Paris, and is CE marked for sale in Europe.

Despite a 60% decline in malaria deaths since 2000 due to better prevention and increased control measures, malaria is still one of the top three killers of children worldwide, claiming one life every minute of every day. (1) According to the latest data from the World Health Organization, nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria (2). In 2015, there were roughly 212 million malaria cases and an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths (3). Also that year, Sub-Saharan Africa was home to 90% of malaria cases and 92% of malaria deaths (4). More than two-thirds (70%) of all malaria deaths occur in children under the age of five (5).

While malaria is preventable and treatable (6), proper diagnosis is critical. Molecular testing has proven to be more effective than current options in detecting the malaria parasite at very low levels, known as “loads.” Identifying low-load individuals has the dual benefit of ensuring they receive treatment and preventing the spread of the disease to others.

“People can be carriers of malaria without showing any symptoms, and detecting these asymptomatic individuals can be challenging,” said Slava Elagin, Executive Vice President, Research & Development at Meridian Bioscience. “If testing doesn’t identify them, eliminating malaria is impossible because these individuals can spread the disease to others.”

That scenario is playing out in the fact that malaria is no longer only a disease of sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia. Increasing numbers of people emigrating from countries where malaria is endemic have resulted in a higher incidence in Europe and the Middle East. The proportion of imported malaria cases has increased during the last few years from 14% to 86% in more recent studies. On pooling the reports, nearly 43% of malaria cases registered in key European centers occurred in non-nationals. The rates of malaria are much higher in settled immigrants who travel to visit friends and relatives in their country of origin. They can account for up to 70% of the cases in several reports and this increase highlights the need for better diagnostic tools in both non-endemic and endemic countries.

While not a new concept, molecular testing has traditionally been a complex process requiring fully-equipped laboratories and highly trained testing personnel. The breakthrough of illumigene Malaria by Meridian Bioscience is that it can be deployed in the field laboratory, where malarial infection is the highest and low load detection most challenging to diagnose and treat. illumigene Malaria is user-friendly, doesn’t require special training or capital investment, yields results in under one hour and the testing materials can be stored at room temperature.

“This is a major step forward in the fight to bring better care to those infected with malaria and to stop its spread,” said John A. Kraeutler, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Meridian Bioscience.

The availability of the field laboratory-deployable and user-friendly, illumigene Malaria, will enhance rather than replace existing testing protocols. It will join rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and microscopy to create a web of detection protocols that will help direct treatment where it is needed most.

“Malaria is a devastating disease and we are proud to work with all the talented and dedicated individuals around the world in the fight to eliminate it,” said Kraeutler.

illumigene Malaria will be distributed in the European, Middle Eastern and African regions by Meridian Bioscience Europe and in additional international markets by the Company’s global distribution network. It is the tenth assay now available on our illumigene platform that is in use in nearly 1,500 institutions around the world.

1 – Meridian news release, “New Malaria Test, illumigene Malaria, Sets a New Gold Standard for Diagnosis”, 1.26.16
2 – World Health Organization: 10 facts on malaria (http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/malaria/en/) Updated December 2016
3 – ibid
4 – ibid
5 – ibid
6 – The World Health Organization, Global Technical Strategy for Malaria: 2016-2030

About Meridian Bioscience, illumigene Malaria & LAMP Technology

  • illumigene Malaria is a diagnostic test for malaria developed by Meridian Bioscience. It is a molecular test that uses Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) technology to amplify DNA and detect the presence of the Malaria parasite.
  • LAMP (Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification) is Molecular detection technology which targets DNA and uses premeasured and self-contained reagents.  Unlike current PCR testing, it does not require temperature cycling. LAMP incubates, detects and reports at a single temperature, allowing for faster results. illumigene testing kits can be stored under ambient conditions, while current molecular methods require cold storage.
  • illumigene technology is simple, accurate and easy to use which means that no specialist technical expertise is needed to perform the test. Results are available in under an hour.
  • LAMP-based illumigene tests are already used to diagnose infectious diseases including C. difficile, whooping cough and Herpes Simplex Virus, where they have proved highly accurate.
  • illumigene tests have been approved and used in other diseases for over 5 years.
  • The benefits of illumigene Malaria are highlighted on the microsite: www.molecularendsmalaria.com.

About Meridian Bioscience, Inc
Meridian is a fully integrated life science company that develops, manufactures, markets and distributes a broad range of innovative diagnostic test kits, rare reagents, specialty biologicals and components. Utilizing a variety of methods, our diagnostic tests provide accuracy, simplicity and speed in the early diagnosis and treatment of common medical conditions, such as infections and lead poisoning. Meridian’s diagnostic products are used outside of the human body and require little or no special equipment. The Company’s diagnostic products are designed to enhance patient well-being while reducing the total outcome costs of health care. Meridian has strong market positions in the areas of gastrointestinal and upper respiratory infections and blood lead level testing. In addition, Meridian is a supplier of rare reagents, specialty biologicals and components used by organizations in the life science and agribio industries engaged in research and by companies as components in the manufacture of diagnostics. The Company markets its products and technologies to hospitals, reference laboratories, research centers, diagnostics manufacturers and agribio companies in more than 70 countries around the world. The Company’s shares are traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, symbol VIVO. Meridian’s website address is www.meridianbioscience.com.

For Investor Relations, contact:	
513-271-3700
John A. Kraeutler, Chief Executive Officer

For all other inquiries, contact:
513-403-7222
Joe Shields

TGS announces Crean 3D multi-client project in Ireland

ASKER, Norway, April 24, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — TGS announces new multi-client acquisition project, Crean 3D on the Irish Atlantic Margin.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/325303aa-b36f-4de5-a678-60be534ae895

Crean 3D (CRN 3D) is a multi-client survey of more than 5,400 km2 located in the South Porcupine Basin between the Porcupine High and the Irish Mainland Platform. Multi-level targets exist, such as Paleocene and Mesozoic channel/fan systems overlying tilted fault blocks. Exploration success on the Newfoundland Labrador conjugate margin coupled with historical exploration in Atlantic Ireland has resulted in significant acreage being licensed. TGS will acquire new 3D data to provide the higher spatial resolution required to delineate multiple plays at multiple levels. Acquisition is expected to commence in June 2017. Data processing will be performed by TGS using its Clari-FiTM broadband technology.

“Crean 3D will expand TGS’ modern 3D coverage in the underexplored Porcupine Basin. With the successful Atlantic Ireland license round in 2016, we see that activity across the Porcupine Basin is continuing to increase, creating exciting new opportunities. The Crean 3D survey further adds to our Atlantic Margins library which also includes data and new acquisition in the Norwegian Sea, North West Africa and Newfoundland Labrador,” commented Kristian Johansen, CEO for TGS.

This survey is supported by industry funding.

Company Summary

TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company (TGS) provides multi-client geoscience data to oil and gas Exploration and Production companies worldwide.  In addition to extensive global geophysical and geological data libraries that include multi-client seismic data, magnetic and gravity data, digital well logs, production data and directional surveys, TGS also offers advanced processing and imaging services, interpretation products, and data integration solutions.

For more information visit TGS online at www.tgs.com.

Forward-looking statements and contact information

All statements in this press release other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements, which are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict, and are based upon assumptions as to future events that may not prove accurate. These factors include TGS’ reliance on a cyclical industry and principle customers, TGS’ ability to continue to expand markets for licensing of data, and TGS’ ability to acquire and process data products at costs commensurate with profitability. Actual results may differ materially from those expected or projected in the forward-looking statements. TGS undertakes no responsibility or obligation to update or alter forward-looking statements for any reason.

TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSLO:TGS).

TGS sponsored American Depositary Shares trade on the U.S. over-the-counter market under the symbol “TGSGY”.

For additional information about this press release please contact:

This information is subject to the disclosure requirements pursuant to section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.

Sven Børre Larsen
Chief Financial Officer
Tel: +47 90 94 36 73
Email: [email protected]

Will Ashby
VP HR & Communication
Tel: +1 713 860 2184 
Email: [email protected]

Foxminers Launches Revolutionary Mining Chip

Beyond Bitcoin, a New Technology that is a Worldwide Game Changer

LOS GATOS, Calif., April 24, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Some people say that cryptocurrency mining is getting harder day by day, but now has been “out-foxed” by a new announcement from Foxminers, currently releasing worldwide, the world’s first dual-miner hardware, which uses both SHA-256 and Scrypt to mine bitcoin and litecoin (https://foxminers.com/products/). Both dual-miners can also be customized for transactions of other cryptocurrencies that use SHA-256 or Scrypt.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/964850d7-07b9-421c-b7a5-e0a375c90029

Designed for Mining Power

Foxminers’ mining chip, FM9800-XD112 is the result of brilliant hardware design that increases hash rates to maximum potential while keeping power consumption down. Both have a built-in controller and pre-installed software. After an intense period of testing, consisting of evaluating, prototyping, and extreme-condition pressure testing, the Foxminers F24 and F48 hardware products are now ready for mass production.

Pricing and Availability

The Foxminers F24 and F48 are available at a presale discount from www.foxminers.com. Pricing starts at $2500. Customers can save $500 by preordering, from now until May 14.

Delivery Fee and Custom Fee will be covered by Foxminers, the customer only pays for the unit and receives everything needed for setup without any hidden fees. “Consumers now know our competitors are beat. They can’t reach our power and our extremely low power costs. We have huge mining power – the F48 generates 75 TH/s for bitcoin and 2.1 GH/s for Litecoin. It’s the best investment on the market,” said Mike Harish Operational Director, COO, Foxminers. “We have strived to give customers the first-rate possible investment in the market.”  Watch the video at: https://vimeo.com/212613185

About FoxMiners

Founded in 2016, Foxminers, described as the world’s first dual-miner company, was established to develop and sell the world’s first leading dual cryptocurrency miners using SHA-256 or Scrypt technology. Starting with the Foxminers’ 24, our task was to provide more power at lower costs. Foxminers is headquartered in Los Gatos, CA with offices around the globe. For more information see www.foxminers.com.

Contact:
Foxminers
Karen Meron, New Dawn Media Public Relations 
818-422-4007; [email protected]

WHO, Medical Workers, Mark Progress in Southeast Asia Malaria Fight

BANGKOK � Concerted campaigns in the Greater Mekong Subregion [GMS] to radically reduce the impact of malaria has lifted hopes a vital target to eradicate malaria from the region may be within reach.

Deyer Gobinath, a malaria technical officer with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Thailand, said the outlook is positive for eliminating severe forms of malaria across the region within the next decade.

The goal is for most of the GMS countries by 2025 to try and eliminate falciparium malaria � the most severe form of malaria � the falciparium malariia - and then by 2030 basically all forms or all species of malaria, Gobinath said.

In 2015, WHO leaders said there were 14 million malaria cases across Southeast Asia, resulting in 26,000 deaths. Globally, in the same year, the WHO reported 438,000 lives lost, mostly in Africa and warned that 3.2 billion people � almost half the world's population � face health risks from the disease.

Mortality rates decline; challenges remain

The campaigns in Southeast Asia cover Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, all reporting consistent declines in mortality rates, by as much as 49 percent since 2000.

Populations most vulnerable to the mosquito-borne disease are largely in remote border regions, isolated from infrastructure and immediate medical support.

The key areas of concern lie in regions between Thailand and Myanmar � also known as Burma � and in Cambodia among others.

But Saw Nay Htoo, director of the Burma Medical Association, said collaboration between medics and local communities has had a positive impact in reducing malaria's impact.

In the ground level we set up the malaria [clinic] post which we have at least one malaria health worker, according to the population they have, to detect malaria, he said. And if there is malaria positive then the patient is given the malaria medicine. So we have been doing this for three years. It seems our program is going very well � there are less malaria cases in the border areas.

Combination of drugs

The fight against malaria is largely based on a combination of drugs known as Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy, or ACT, as the main line of drug treatment.

The World Health Organization's Gobinath said Thailand's medical infrastructure and funding support have all contributed to lowering the numbers of malaria cases.

For malaria in Thailand here's been quite a remarkable decrease � a steady decrease, decline in the number of confirmed cases of malaria. In the past 10 years or so something like 30,000 cases in 2012; to 2015 it was 19,000 to 20,000 cases. So it's been a gradual but persistent decline of confirmed malaria cases, he told VOA.

But he said for progress to be sustained it will require continued political will and commitment.

WHO officials said attention needs to focus on migrant worker populations moving across the region's borders. Thai health authorities have taken steps to enable medical access to migrant populations at risk of malaria, largely in remote border areas.

The battle far from over

But challenges remain, said Maria Dorina Bustos, a WHO technical officer with responsibilities for monitoring drug resistant strains of malaria across 18 countries in the Asia Pacific.

Dorina Bustos said the region with drug resistant forms of malaria is spreading. The Thai-Cambodia or the Thai-Myanmar border, you need to think about the Thai-Laos border because the Southern Laos drug resistance is also about evident � is documented, it is also there. And what is actually more alarming is happening in the Cambodia side, she told VOA.

She said drug resistance becomes evident in the delay in clearance of the parasite from the patient. Dorina Bustos says the use of fake drugs and self-treatment also opens the way to drug resistance.

What we are seeing in the last five years is that it is really emerging in the most parts of the region � initially just in the Western border of Cambodia and now it has also spread to the east and almost the whole country, Dorina Bustos said.

She said there is a need for close monitoring of major population centers � especially in India and Africa � to ensure successful treatment and avoiding issues of the use of fake medicines.

A positive note has been ongoing investment and research in new drugs, including commitments by major pharmaceutical industries.

It's really here in the Mekong where we really have a problem. Cambodia, the borders of Thailand, the borders of Thai/Laos and Cambodia/Vietnam � it's very specific in the Mekong region, she said. For Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and even India, Bangladesh and Nepal the ACT [Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy] is all working perfectly well.

Source: Voice of America

Arkansas Scheduled Double Execution is Heinous and Shameful

Arkansas executed Jack Jones today, the second of four prisoners scheduled to be executed before the state's supply of lethal injections expires at the end of the month. Jones was sentenced to death despite the fact that the jury was not told of his serious mental disabilities. The execution of Marcel Williams, also scheduled for tonight, remained under appeal at the time of Jones' death.

Tonight Arkansas continues its shameful backslide against prevailing trends away from the death penalty," said James Clark, senior campaigner with Amnesty International USA. "The sentences of Jack Jones and Marcel Williams are another heinous example of how the death penalty is applied to people with severe mental impairments and history of abuse. This conveyer belt of death must stop immediately by commuting the remaining sentences, and abolishing the death penalty once and for all.

A report released earlier this month by Amnesty International showed that for the first time since 2006, and only the second time since 1991, the U.S. is not among the world's five biggest executioners. The number of executions (20) in 2016 reached the lowest level recorded in any year since 1991. The number of executions has fallen every year since 2009, (except 2012, when it stayed the same).

Source: Amnesty International USA