Bayer Cleared for U.S. Spinal Test
Wed Nov 20, 8:21 AM ET Add Health - AP to My Yahoo!

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - Germany's Bayer AG said Wednesday it had received U.S. government permission to market an automated spinal fluid diagnostic test the company says is faster and more precise than manual tests.

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The test can be run on an existing machine used to analyze blood samples, the company said, and takes only five minutes as opposed to 30-45 minutes for manual testing, in which a lab worker examines a sample under a microscope.

The company said the automated test reduces the chance for error caused by mishandling of samples.

The test is made by Bayer HealthCare Diagnostics, a subsidiary of Leverkusen-based Bayer. The diagnostics subsidiary is located in Tarrytown, N.Y.

Tests of cerebrospinal fluid - the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord - are used to evaluate diseases such as meningitis, encephalitis, bleeding into the brain and some forms of leukemia.