This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, November 30, 2001.
BRENDA BUTTNER, GUEST HOST: Well, flu season is upon us, but as you know, the symptoms bear an eerie resemblance to the early stages of anthrax. With bioterrorism scares rocking the nation, Americans are demanding straight answers from their doctors: do they have the flu, or something much worse?
That's scoring a lot of attention for one Oklahoma company. My next guest says his personal flu test will give you results within 20 minutes. He's Norman Proulx, president and CEO of ZymeTx.
Thanks so much for joining us.
NORMAN PROULX, PRESIDENT & CEO, ZYMETX: Thank you for having me.
BUTTNER: Well, people are scared. They get flu-like symptoms and they fear it's something worse. You say your product can help them.
PROULX: Well, it does three things, really. One is give peace of mind. Unlike past years, people are going to be glad that they've got the flu, as opposed to something mush worse. The product, also, because it can give you an answer within 20 minutes, can relieve the pressure on emergency rooms.
And then lastly, with the second asset we have, the National Flu Surveillance Network, we can actually predict where the flu is going to be, and so we can actually track to see if there are aberrant diagnosing patterns.
BUTTNER: What's your accuracy rate?
PROULX: If you get a positive with our test, it's 99 percent. It's virtually foolproof.
BUTTNER: But if you get a negative, all that tells you is you don't have the flu. It doesn't tell you have something else.
PROULX: That's correct. But when you look at the laws of statistics, with the National Flu Surveillance Network, the other asset we have, for every 100 people who come in under normal terms, they'll have probably 40 with the flu, 20 with the strep and 40 with some other viral.
If you knew the flu was prevalent in, say, the five boroughs, here, but you were only seeing 10 percent flu, that might start to say, wait a minute, the laws of statistics are being violated. We probably ought to look more deeply into this.
BUTTNER: How much does it cost?
PROULX: Probably — Medicaid rebates around $16.50, and so usually you can get it for no more than about $25.
BUTTNER: Why do you think it hasn't caught on so far? Your stock certainly does not reflect the success that you're having now. Your stock has tripled, I think, in the last few months. Before that it's been negative, negative, negative.
PROULX: Well, the stock traded very nicely last year, prior to the flu season. Last year's flu season was the weakest flu season in the 61-year history that we've tracked the flu. And so, obviously, it's had that particular impact.
But we've stayed the course, and we're ready to kind of take advantage -- not so much of the anthrax thing, but to put this product into its proper use. And I think it's going to create a lot of peace of mind amongst people.
BUTTNER: Because there are some who would say -- you know, you're going to get these claims, that you're exploiting the anthrax scare.
PROULX: Well, I would say that isn't the case, because 18 months ago we were working with a group in Burlington, Massachusetts, on how we could take the flu surveillance network and our test, and anticipate aberrant diagnostic patters.
So, we started this thing 18 months ago, as opposed to after September 11th.
BUTTNER: Available across country?
PROULX: Available everywhere, though doctors, through emergency rooms. We can have this test done in military applications, et cetera.
BUTTNER: All right, thank you so much. Norman Proulx of ZymeTx.
PROULX: Thank you very much.
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