There is one primary point today. With the clearance to market our bloodstream infection Gram-Positive Assay our business has achieved an inflection point that will enable us to fulfill the promise of this technology and our company.
In a few moments Mike McGarrity will review the significance of this assay and its impact not only on our business but also on patient care. We stand alone in the market with a test that addresses the clinical requirements for early diagnosis of sepsis, the number one driver of hospital costs and death.
The value proposition for this assay is clearly understood by the market and we expect it to fuel an increase in Verigene system placements over the coming quarters. Moreover our customers are excited about this assay and the pipeline of products that we have coming to the market over the next quarters that will continue to address critical issues in patient care.
Before providing you an update on our progress with that pipeline let me turn the call over to Mike to update you on our progress in the market, our plans for expansion of our commercial organization and the significance of the recently cleared bloodstream infection Gram-Positive Assay. Mike?Mike McGarrity Thanks Bill. We had 25 new customer placements in the second quarter bringing our installed customer base to 166 worldwide. The FDA clearance of our Gram-Positive blood culture test at the end of Q2 is serving as the placement catalyst we anticipated in the U.S. In addition, our recent exhibition at the American Association of Clinical Chemistry and the associated excitement by this audience served to confirm that we will continue to build our pipeline in the coming quarters. We are focused on building this customer base and moving them through the validation process to drive increased utilization. The profile of our customer base and pipeline is represented by the full spectrum of hospital microbiology labs, from community based to academic teaching centers. The considerable awareness and demand for this assay is driven by the fact that sepsis is the leading cost of inpatient stay in the U.S. at over $15 billion annually, carrying a mortality rate of one in six patients.