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Togni G.,Unilabs SA | Battini V.,IPAS Institute | Bulgheroni A.,Polichem SA | Mailland F.,Polichem SA | And 2 more authors.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy | Year: 2011

Bacterial vaginosis is characterized by a shift of the physiological flora to a diverse spectrum of bacteria, where Gardnerella vaginalis and Atopobium vaginae are the most important markers. In this study, the antimicrobial activity of nifuratel against G. vaginalis, A. vaginae, and lactobacilli was compared with that of the two currently used antibiotics metronidazole and clindamycin. Results suggest that nifuratel has a better spectrum of activity, being highly active against G. vaginalis and A. vaginae without affecting lactobacilli. Copyright © 2011, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


LONDON & GENEVA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The joint owners of Switzerland-based Unilabs, private equity funds Apax Europe VI, Nordic Capital Fund VI (“Nordic Capital”) and Apax France VII, announced today that Nordic Capital and Apax Partners France, have accepted an offer from Apax IX, advised by Apax Partners LLP, for the acquisition of their respective stakes in Unilabs. Financial terms of the transaction are not being disclosed. Under the new ownership structure, Unilabs will be able to continue to pursue its successful M&A strategy and be at the forefront of the ongoing consolidation of the European laboratory space. The transaction marks the successful completion of the joint ownership between funds advised by Apax Partners LLP, Nordic Capital and Apax Partners France (jointly with Altamir), which saw Unilabs taken private from the Swiss stock exchange in November 2007 and merged with the diagnostic division of pan-European healthcare provider Capio in 2008. Throughout the ownership, funds advised by Apax Partners LLP, Nordic Capital, and Apax Partners France have made significant investments into the business to pursue a shared vision of creating what is today Europe’s most modern and professionalised medical laboratory business. With over 112 laboratories and 43 medical imaging units across 10 European countries and emerging positions in the Middle East and Latin America, Unilabs has grown to become one of Europe’s leading medical diagnostics businesses. Offering the most comprehensive portfolio of diagnostic services in Europe, Unilabs’ 5,300 employees provide reliable and actionable diagnostic information, which is essential for effective treatment, thereby improving patients’ lives and contributing to the optimisation of rising healthcare costs. Having taken Unilabs to this unique position, Nordic Capital and Apax Partners France have decided to sell their investment in Unilabs to Apax IX, which will support the company as it takes advantage of the strong market outlook and consolidation opportunities. Fredrik Näslund, Partner, NC Advisory AB, advisor to the Nordic Capital Funds, said: “By drawing on a deep expertise and successful track record in the healthcare sector, Nordic Capital has been able support the creation of a truly market leading business. We would like to thank Jos Lamers and the management team for their dedication and commitment to driving the company’s growth strategy and development.” Echoing the support to Unilabs’ management team, Bertrand Pivin, partner at Apax Partners France, commented: “We are pleased to exit in the knowledge that Unilabs, under the continued partnership with Apax Partners LLP, will be ideally equipped to pursue its journey and we wish them the best of success.” Driving a successful M&A strategy in a highly fragmented European laboratory market by acquiring smaller and medium-sized laboratories is critical to the future strategy of the business. Unilabs will therefore continue to be at the forefront of the ongoing consolidation of the European laboratory space. Jos Lamers, CEO of Unilabs, commented: “I would like to thank our partners for sharing our vision and for their support in building a company with solid market leadership positions. Today’s transaction will allow us to pursue our ambition to become a proactive partner to caregivers and patients in all areas of diagnostics – from laboratory diagnostics to pathology and medical imaging. We will achieve this by investing in innovative services, pursuing operational excellence and conducting further M&A activity to expand our European and international presence.” Steven Dyson, Partner at Apax Partners LLP, commented: “Under the leadership of CEO Jos Lamers and his executive team, Unilabs and its 5,300 employees have done an outstanding job in growing organic revenues at close to double market rates, and they continue to generate expanding operating margins. We are excited to continue our successful collaboration and to support the company in its future ambitions.” With over 112 laboratories and 43 imaging units and a broad catalogue of more than 2,500 diagnostic tests, Unilabs is one of Europe’s leading providers of clinical laboratory testing and medical diagnostic imaging services. Headquartered in Geneva, the Unilabs Group services sectors ranging from private and public healthcare providers to local governments, from pharmaceutical companies to the general public. The Unilabs Group employs more than 5,300 people worldwide, successfully operating laboratory and medical diagnostic imaging facilities in 12 countries, and generating annual revenues of €673m in 2015. Its network of facilities provides its customers with one of the broadest geographic footprints of any clinical laboratory and medical diagnostic services provider in Europe. We are at the heart and start of all effective treatment decisions: www.unilabs.com Apax Partners LLP is a leading global private equity advisory firm. Over its more than 30-year history, Apax Partners LLP has raised and advised funds with aggregate commitments in excess of $48 billion*. Funds advised by Apax Partners LLP invest in companies across four global sectors of Healthcare, Tech and Telco, Services and Consumer. These funds provide long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies. In the healthcare sector they have completed more than 80 investments, including in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and healthcare services. For further information please see www.apax.com *Funds raised since 1981, commitments converted from fund currency to USD at FX rates as at September 30, 2016. Nordic Capital private equity funds have invested in mid-market companies primarily in the Nordic region since 1989. Through committed ownership and by targeting strategic development and operational improvements, Nordic Capital enables value creation in its investments. Nordic Capital Funds invest in companies in northern Europe and in selected investment opportunities internationally. The most recent fund is Nordic Capital Fund VIII with EUR 3.5 billion in committed capital, principally provided by international institutional investors such as pension funds. Nordic Capital Funds are based in Jersey, Channel Islands, and are advised by the NC Advisory companies in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Germany and the UK. For further information: www.nordiccapital.com Apax France is a leading private equity firm in French-speaking European countries. With more than 40 years of experience, Apax France provides long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies. Funds managed and advised by Apax France exceed €3 billion. These funds invest in fast-growing middle-market companies across four sectors of specialisation. Altamir is a listed private equity company (Euronext Paris-B, LTA) with more than €650m in assets under management. The company invests via and with the funds managed or advised by Apax Partners France and Apax Partners LLP, two leading private equity firms in their respective markets. It provides access to a diversified portfolio of fast-growing companies across Apax’s sectors of specialisation (TMT, Retail & Consumer, Healthcare, Business & Financial Services) and in complementary market segments (mid-sized companies in French-speaking European countries and larger companies across Europe, North America and key emerging markets). The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and the parties expect closing to occur in early 2017. Rothschild & Co acted as M&A advisor to the Sellers on the transaction. Apax Partners LLP was advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Vinge. Nordic Capital was advised by Mannheimer Swartling. Apax France was advised by Allen & Overy LLP.


Okeke I.N.,Haverford College | Peeling R.W.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Goossens H.,University of Antwerp | Auckenthaler R.,Unilabs SA | And 5 more authors.
Drug Resistance Updates | Year: 2011

Antibacterial drugs are overused and often inappropriately selected. This exacerbates drug resistance and exacts a high burden from acute respiratory tract, bloodstream, sexually-transmitted, diarrheal and other infections. Appropriate use of existing diagnostic tests, and developing better ones, could avert these costs and would avoid selective pressure from unnecessary antibacterial use. Product profiles of resistance-averting tests would specify WHO 'ASSURED' (Affordable, Sensitive, Specific, User-friendly, Rapid and Robust, Equipment-free and Deliverable) criteria and request susceptibility as well as etiological information. Advances in genomics, nanoscience, microfluidics and bioengineering, as well as innovative funding paradigms can help to overcome research and development barriers for such diagnostics if they are deliberately and forcefully applied. Rapid uptake of new tests requires timely translation of research on cost-benefit analyses into policy, value-based subsidies and reimbursements, as well as behavioral change of health care providers and users. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All Rights Reserved.


Untiet S.,University of Geneva | Vassilakos P.,Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research | McCarey C.,University of Geneva | Tebeu P.-M.,University Center Hospital | And 5 more authors.
International Journal of Cancer | Year: 2014

Our objective was (i) to assess if a self-collected test for human papillomavirus (HPV) may serve as a primary cervical cancer screening method in a low-resource setting, (ii) to evaluate its implication in a screen and treat approach and (iii) to identify the most eligible age group in a screening program. Women were recruited through a cervical cancer screening campaign conducted in Cameroon. Written and oral instructions were given to participants by a health-care professional to carry out an unsupervised self-collected HPV-test (Self-HPV), followed by a physician-collected cervical sample for HPV testing (Physician-HPV) and cytology. Differences in performance between Self-HPV versus Physician-HPV and their ability to detect abnormal cytology results (ASC-US+) were evaluated. Descriptive analyses were used to examine the correlation between HPV positivity and cervical abnormalities by age. A sample of 789 women was prospectively enrolled. HPV prevalence was 14.6% and 12.7% for Self-HPV and Physician-HPV, respectively (Cohen's kappa = 0.74). HPV positivity by cytological diagnosis for ASC-US+ was similar with the two tests. positive predictive value of the Self-HPV for ASC-US+ was 20.4; odds ratio and number needed to treat were 6.5 (3.2-13.4) and 6 (4.2-10.9), respectively. We observed a trend of increasing cytological abnormalities in 30-49 year-old women and a concomitant trend of decreasing HPV prevalence supporting that this age group might be the most eligible group for screening. In conclusion, Self-HPV can be used as a primary screening test but needs to be followed by a triaging test that would identify the subset of women affected by clinically significant precancer or cancer. © 2014 UICC.


Eperon I.,University of Geneva | Vassilakos P.,Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research | Navarria I.,University of Geneva | Menoud P.-A.,Unilabs SA | And 5 more authors.
BMC Cancer | Year: 2013

Background: To evaluate if human papillomavirus (HPV) self-sampling (Self-HPV) using a dry vaginal swab is a valid alternative for HPV testing.Methods: Women attending colposcopy clinic were recruited to collect two consecutive Self-HPV samples: a Self-HPV using a dry swab (S-DRY) and a Self-HPV using a standard wet transport medium (S-WET). These samples were analyzed for HPV using real time PCR (Roche Cobas). Participants were randomized to determine the order of the tests. Questionnaires assessing preferences and acceptability for both tests were conducted. Subsequently, women were invited for colposcopic examination; a physician collected a cervical sample (physician-sampling) with a broom-type device and placed it into a liquid-based cytology medium. Specimens were then processed for the production of cytology slides and a Hybrid Capture HPV DNA test (Qiagen) was performed from the residual liquid. Biopsies were performed if indicated. Unweighted kappa statistics (k{cyrillic}) and McNemar tests were used to measure the agreement among the sampling methods.Results: A total of 120 women were randomized. Overall HPV prevalence was 68.7% (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 59.3-77.2) by S-WET, 54.4% (95% CI 44.8-63.9) by S-DRY and 53.8% (95% CI 43.8-63.7) by HC. Among paired samples (S-WET and S-DRY), the overall agreement was good (85.7%; 95% CI 77.8-91.6) and the κ was substantial (0.70; 95% CI 0.57-0.70). The proportion of positive type-specific HPV agreement was also good (77.3%; 95% CI 68.2-84.9). No differences in sensitivity for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade one (CIN1) or worse between the two Self-HPV tests were observed. Women reported the two Self-HPV tests as highly acceptable.Conclusion: Self-HPV using dry swab transfer does not appear to compromise specimen integrity. Further study in a large screening population is needed. © 2013 Eperon et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Gallay C.,University of Geneva | Miranda E.,University of Geneva | Schaefer S.,University of Geneva | Catarino R.,University of Geneva | And 7 more authors.
Sexually Transmitted Infections | Year: 2016

Objective The gynaecological environment can become contaminated by human papillomavirus (HPV) from healthcare workers' hands and gloves. This study aimed to assess the presence of HPV on frequently used equipment in gynaecological practice. Methods In this cross-sectional study, 179 samples were taken from fomites (glove box, lamp of a gynaecological chair, gel tubes for ultrasound, colposcope and speculum) in two university hospitals and in four gynaecological private practices. Samples were collected with phosphate-buffered saline-humidified polyester swabs accorDing to a standardised pattern, and conducted twice per day for 2 days. The samples were analysed by a semiquantitative real-time PCR. Statistical analysis was performed using Pearson's ?2 test and multivariate regression analysis. Results Thirty-two (18%) HPV-positive samples were found. When centres were compared, there was a higher risk of HPV contamination in gynaecological private practices compared with hospitals (OR 2.69, 95% CI 1.06 to 6.86). Overall, there was no difference in the risk of contamination with respect to the time of day (OR 1.79, 95% CI 0.68 to 4.69). When objects were compared, the colposcope had the highest risk of contamination (OR 3.02, 95% CI 0.86 to 10.57). Conclusions Gynaecological equipment and surfaces are contaminated by HPV despite routine cleaning. While there is no evidence that contaminated surfaces carry infectious viruses, our results demonstrate the need for strategies to prevent HPV contamination. These strategies, based on health providers' education, should lead to well-established cleaning protocols, adapted to gynaecological rooms, aimed at eliminating HPV material.


PubMed | Unilabs SA, University of Geneva and Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research
Type: Comparative Study | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

Human papillomavirus (HPV) self-sampling (self-HPV) is valuable in cervical cancer screening. HPV testing is usually performed on physician-collected cervical smears stored in liquid-based medium. Dry filters and swabs are an alternative. We evaluated the adequacy of self-HPV using two dry storage and transport devices, the FTA cartridge and swab.A total of 130 women performed two consecutive self-HPV samples. Randomization determined which of the two tests was performed first: self-HPV using dry swabs (s-DRY) or vaginal specimen collection using a cytobrush applied to an FTA cartridge (s-FTA). After self-HPV, a physician collected a cervical sample using liquid-based medium (Dr-WET). HPV types were identified by real-time PCR. Agreement between collection methods was measured using the kappa statistic.HPV prevalence for high-risk types was 62.3% (95%CI: 53.7-70.2) detected by s-DRY, 56.2% (95%CI: 47.6-64.4) by Dr-WET, and 54.6% (95%CI: 46.1-62.9) by s-FTA. There was overall agreement of 70.8% between s-FTA and s-DRY samples (kappa = 0.34), and of 82.3% between self-HPV and Dr-WET samples (kappa = 0.56). Detection sensitivities for low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion or worse (LSIL+) were: 64.0% (95%CI: 44.5-79.8) for s-FTA, 84.6% (95%CI: 66.5-93.9) for s-DRY, and 76.9% (95%CI: 58.0-89.0) for Dr-WET. The preferred self-collection method among patients was s-DRY (40.8% vs. 15.4%). Regarding costs, FTA card was five times more expensive than the swab (~5 US dollars (USD)/per card vs. ~1 USD/per swab).Self-HPV using dry swabs is sensitive for detecting LSIL+ and less expensive than s-FTA.International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN): 43310942.


PubMed | University of Lausanne, Unilabs SA, University of Geneva and Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Sexually transmitted infections | Year: 2016

The gynaecological environment can become contaminated by human papillomavirus (HPV) from healthcare workers hands and gloves. This study aimed to assess the presence of HPV on frequently used equipment in gynaecological practice.In this cross-sectional study, 179 samples were taken from fomites (glove box, lamp of a gynaecological chair, gel tubes for ultrasound, colposcope and speculum) in two university hospitals and in four gynaecological private practices. Samples were collected with phosphate-buffered saline-humidified polyester swabs according to a standardised pattern, and conducted twice per day for 2days. The samples were analysed by a semiquantitative real-time PCR. Statistical analysis was performed using Pearsons (2) test and multivariate regression analysis.Thirty-two (18%) HPV-positive samples were found. When centres were compared, there was a higher risk of HPV contamination in gynaecological private practices compared with hospitals (OR 2.69, 95% CI 1.06 to 6.86). Overall, there was no difference in the risk of contamination with respect to the time of day (OR 1.79, 95% CI 0.68 to 4.69). When objects were compared, the colposcope had the highest risk of contamination (OR 3.02, 95% CI 0.86 to 10.57).Gynaecological equipment and surfaces are contaminated by HPV despite routine cleaning. While there is no evidence that contaminated surfaces carry infectious viruses, our results demonstrate the need for strategies to prevent HPV contamination. These strategies, based on health providers education, should lead to well-established cleaning protocols, adapted to gynaecological rooms, aimed at eliminating HPV material.


Subissi A.,University of Pisa | Monti D.,University of Pisa | Togni G.,Unilabs SA | Mailland F.,Polichem SA
Drugs | Year: 2010

Ciclopirox is a topical antimycotic agent belonging to the chemical class of hydroxypyridones and not related to azoles or any other class of antifungal agents. Its antimicrobial profile includes nearly all of the clinically relevant dermatophytes, yeasts and moulds, and is therefore broader than that of most other antimycotics. It is also active against certain frequently azole-resistant Candida species and against some bacteria.The mechanism of action of ciclopirox is different from that of other topical antifungal drugs, which generally act through ergosterol inhibition. The high affinity of ciclopirox for trivalent metal cations, resulting in inhibition of the metal-dependent enzymes that are responsible for the degradation of peroxides within the fungal cell, appears to be the major determinant of its antimicrobial activity. This unique and multilevel mechanism of action provides a very low potential for the development of resistance in pathogenic fungi, with cases of resistance rarely reported.Ciclopirox also displays mild anti-inflammatory effects in biochemical and pharmacological models; effects also shown in small clinical studies. Scavenging of reactive oxygen species released from inflammatory cells is a likely contributor to these anti-inflammatory effects.Ciclopirox, and its olamine salt, is available in multiple topical formulations, suitable for administration onto the skin and nails and into the vagina. The pharmaceutical forms most widely investigated are 1 ciclopirox olamine cream and 8 ciclopirox acid nail lacquer, but lotion, spray, shampoo, pessary, solution, gel and douche formulations have also been used. Ciclopirox penetrates into the deep layers of the skin, mucosal membranes and nail keratin, reaching concentrations exceeding the minimal fungicidal concentrations for most medically important fungi.A large number of clinical trials were and are still being performed with ciclopirox, starting in the early 1980s. Ciclopirox was first developed for fungal skin infections and vaginal candidiasis, and is currently well established in these indications. More recently, the drug has been clinically investigated in seborrhoeic dermatitis and onychomycosis, showing good efficacy and excellent tolerability. Emphasis in this review is given to a ciclopirox medicated nail lacquer, which is based on an original technology and has superior properties in terms of its affinity to keratin and nail permeation. It has been found to have superior efficacy and safety to another commercially available formulation in the treatment of onychomycosis.The safety features of ciclopirox are well known. The topical drug is devoid of systemic adverse reactions. Mild local reactions characterized by a burning sensation of the skin, irritation, redness, pain or pruritus, generally in less than 5 of treated patients, can be observed following skin and vaginal application. With nail application, the most common adverse event is the appearance of mild erythema in 5 of the treated population.As a general conclusion, although less effective than some oral antimycotic agents in various indications, ciclopirox compares very well in terms of the benefitrisk ratio due to its excellent tolerability and complete absence of serious adverse effects. © 2010 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved.


Depardieu F.,Institute Pasteur Paris | Didier J.-P.,CNRS Institute of Molecular and Supramolecular Chemistry and Biochemistry | Didier J.-P.,Unilabs SA | Bernheim A.,Institute Pasteur Paris | And 5 more authors.
Cell Host and Microbe | Year: 2016

Organisms from all domains of life are infected by viruses. In eukaryotes, serine/threonine kinases play a central role in antiviral response. Bacteria, however, are not commonly known to use protein phosphorylation as part of their defense against phages. Here we identify Stk2, a staphylococcal serine/threonine kinase that provides efficient immunity against bacteriophages by inducing abortive infection. A phage protein of unknown function activates the Stk2 kinase. This leads to the Stk2-dependent phosphorylation of several proteins involved in translation, global transcription control, cell-cycle control, stress response, DNA topology, DNA repair, and central metabolism. Bacterial host cells die as a consequence of Stk2 activation, thereby preventing propagation of the phage to the rest of the bacterial population. Our work shows that mechanisms of viral defense that rely on protein phosphorylation constitute a conserved antiviral strategy across multiple domains of life. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.

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