A British company is alleging that diversified conglomerate 3M Co. sabotaged a device that it sold to the St. Paul, Minnesota company in favor of bringing 3M’s own, more expensive solution to the market.
Five years ago, the Porton Group sold 3M a potential breakthrough device called the BacLite, which uses a special fluorescent light to detect the antibiotic-resistant superbug called the MRSA, according to a report by Fox News Twin Cities.
Porton Group had achieved 95 percent successful in detecting MRSA in European clinical trials, but when 3M performed the trials, they were only 50 percent effective. The attorneys for the British company allege that 3M botched the trial by keeping the bacteria below body temperature. The company wants the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to investigate and for 3M to release internal documents. The attorneys also charge that the reason 3M sabotaged the trial was because it was developing a more expensive molecular test to detect MRSA internally called the Simplexa and wanted it to be the first to reach the market.
However, a 3M spokesperson told Fox 9 that BacLite was “not fully developed and ready to market” and “failed to meet its label claims.”
Meanwhile, as the two companies battle it out, the FDA has given a third company — Microphage, a Colorado company — the green signal for the first MRSA test in the U.S.
According to the Mayo Clinic, MRSA first surfaced in hospitals where it was found to cause serious bloodstream infections often in people who were sick. Now there are varieties of MRSA that occur outside hospitals, too. These infections typically affect the skin of otherwise healthy individuals — such as student athletes.