Market acceptance of virco®TYPE HIV-1 continues to grow, Virco BVBA to discontinue Antivirogram® for the routine HIV clinical market.

Mechelen, Belgium, 8th March 2010: Due to declining demand for the Antivirogram® in the US and other markets, Virco BVBA announced that as of April 26th, 2010, it will no longer offer this service for routine clinical use. The test will remain available for research and the drug discovery and development market.

“Growing acceptance of virco®TYPE HIV -1 as an acceptable and less costly way to access phenotypic information to help guide clinical decision-making has led us to this decision,” said Scott Rairigh, Vice-President US Sales & Marketing. He expanded further, “to date Virco has delivered virco®TYPE HIV-1 to a considerable number of clinicians. Demand for a more expensive conventional phenotype like Antivirogram® has declined to the point where we believe it is no longer economically feasible to provide this service for routine clinical testing.”

Antivirogram® was the first phenotyping assay to be launched in 1998, and formed the core of the company’s HIV resistance laboratory-based interpretation platform. It has had a considerable heritage in supporting clinical decision-making in the market, and was the only phenotypic assay that had been proven in a prospective controlled clinical trial to be more useful than standard of care in helping the selection of active drugs leading to improved virological outcomes1.

The Virtual Phenotype™ product line was first launched in 2000, with virco®TYPE HIV-1 being launched in 2004, a genotype resistance analysis service that combines genotype, phenotype and additional clinical information, all in one easy to use report. Following sequencing of the virus and submission by a CLIA high-complexity laboratory of that derived sequence, results are provided in moments via a secure, online software interface, VircoNET2™, compared to up to a month with Antivirogram® or other similar phenotyping systems.

The virco®TYPE HIV-1 product is based on a sophisticated bioinformatics technology, Virtual Phenotype™-LM, which in turn is built on the foundation of the most unique and largest correlative genotype-phenotype database, and a clinical outcome database from which Clinical Cut-Offs are derived.

“We are very proud of the contribution Antivirogram® has made to the management of HIV antiviral resistance, and I wish to applaud all those who worked so hard to develop it, and to thank all those customers who used our product over the years”, stated Werner Verbiest, General Manager Worldwide. He added, “while managing HIV disease remains a complex challenge, we believe that virco®TYPE HIV-1 is a dynamic and reliable decision-support tool that will continue to serve clinicians who need to make complex treatment decisions for patients with HIV drug resistance.”

This has been further supported by two recent publications supporting the use of virco®TYPE HIV-1 versus conventional phenotyping2, and in dealing with viral mixtures3 and it is Virco’s view that the HIV clinical market is best served via the focus on the provision of virco®TYPE HIV-1. Antivirogram® will continue to be available for drug development support, and building the diversity of the correlative genotype-phenotype database, which keeps virco®TYPE HIV-1 up to date in monitoring the global epidemic of HIV drug resistance.

More information on Virco’s products can be found at and specifically and

About Virco BVBA
Virco’s goal is to facilitate personalized clinical decision-making via advanced diagnostic and bioinformatic tools to improve patient outcomes. A pioneer and leader in HIV resistance interpretation, in addition to providing resistance interpretation, education and facilitating access to resistance interpretation worldwide, Virco actively collaborates with hospitals and academic institutions in researching topics of virological and clinical relevance in HIV, HCV and other infectious diseases.

It is also actively engaged in the use of new diagnostic technologies and in developing bioinformatic tools, health information technologies (such as electronic medical records and registries), and data interpretation with these new technologies to realize potential new products for managing antiviral resistance and complex disease states.

Press Contacts:

Hans Vanavermaete

Director, Global Virology Communications and Public Affairs

Tel: +32 (15) 461017


Nigel Hughes

Global Marketing Director

Tel: +32 (15) 461089



1 Perez?Elias M.J., et al. and the Realvirfen Study Group. "Phenotype or VirtualPhenotype for choosing antiretroviral therapy after failure: a prospective, randomized study." Antiviral Therapy 2003; 8: 577?584

2 Van Houtte, M, et al; A Comparison of HIV?1 drug susceptibility as provided by conventional phenotyping and by a phenotype prediction tool based on viral genotype; J Med Vir 2009; 81: 1702?1709

3 Winters B, et al; Clinical cut?offs for HIV?1 phenotypic resistance estimates: update based on recent pivotal clinical trial data and a revised approach to viral mixtures; J Virological Methods 2009; 162: 101?108