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IDRI and Chembio Collaborate to Develop a Low-Cost Test for Visceral Leishmaniasis
Date:5/11/2009

the blood of infected patients, and the device which acts as a physical support for the reagents. Diagnostic devices can be as simple as strips of paper or plastic cassettes. These simple tests do not require highly skilled laboratory staff and can be done in the field with results usually available within the next ten to fifteen minutes.

Curt Malloy, SVP Operations and General Counsel of IDRI said, "Chembio has significant experience in the development, manufacturing and distribution of diagnostic tests, particularly in the developing world. IDRI will provide the reagents for the test and, with our financial support, Chembio will develop a reliable diagnostic device that can be manufactured at low-cost. This will be paramount to ensure affordability of the test when ready for implementation."

"We are thrilled to be able to collaborate with IDRI on the complex yet urgent task of controlling visceral leishmaniasis in developing countries," commented Larry Siebert, Chairman and President of Chembio. "Working alongside IDRI, we will apply our DPP(R) and other technologies to create a low-cost diagnostic device to help fight this disease that has been ignored for too many years," commented Javan Esfandiari, Senior Vice President of R&D for Chembio.

About Visceral leishmaniasis

Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a serious, potentially lethal, systemic parasitic illness that has caused epidemics in India, Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America. Leishmania parasites are transmitted to humans through the bite of infected sandflies. Patients with VL develop infections of their liver, spleen, and bone marrow and may die if the infection goes untreated. About 500,000 new cases of visceral leishmaniasis occur each year, and 10% of these patients -- mostly children -- die because their disease cannot be accurately diagnosed in a timely fashion.

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SOURCE Infectious Disease Research Institute
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