ATLANTA, GEORGIA and OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 19, 2009) - Spartan Bioscience Inc and Cooperative Diagnostics, LLC, each private companies with a vision to help the developing world test for diseases in a cost-effective and timely manner, have signed a cooperation agreement that will bring this vision a step closer to reality. By using the custom PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) assays designed and manufactured by Cooperative Diagnostics in the Spartan DX-12™ DNA analyzer, the companies hope they can bring PCR testing for viruses such as HIV/AIDS to the Global South region.
"Spartan's vision is bringing the power of DNA testing to everyone. This means both the developed world and the developing world. There is enormous potential for remote and under-served regions to benefit from fast, affordable, and easy-to-use DNA analysis." said Dr. Paul Lem, CEO and co-founder, Spartan Bioscience. "Too often, cost issues prevent the developing world from receiving life-saving medical technologies. This is why the collaboration agreement with Cooperative Diagnostics is so exciting - we have the potential to bring highly-accurate DNA-based HIV/AIDS testing to countries and regions who have been severely under-served and often forgotten."
"Cooperative Diagnostics was founded with a singular purpose: to make the highest quality diagnostics available to the people who need them most," said Brent C. Satterfield, Ph.D., President and Founder, Cooperative Diagnostics. "When traditional marketing approaches don't meet the needs of the underserved populations in the world, then there is a need for people who care enough to think outside of the box - people who can find creative ways to generate sustainable change. We are pleased with our relationship with Spartan, because we feel that their approach to cost-effective PCR testing is a step in the right direction towards meeting the needs of the world's nations."
The agreement reached between the two companies is to form and execute a Joint Research Collaboration Project with the scope of conduct to include all necessary validation testing of the Cooperative Diagnostics HIV PCR Assay technology on the Spartan DX-12 DNA analyzer.
The Cooperative Diagnostics designed SimplexTM HIV-1 RNA kit is part of a blood screening kit manufactured and distributed by Cooperative Diagnostics International, S.A. in Guatemala. The research collaboration with Spartan is intended to provide additional validation for the HIV-1 test in applications for infant diagnosis and viral load testing in resource limited settings. With anticipated pricing of less than $10 U.S., the test will bring significant reductions to the cost of infant diagnosis and viral load testing.
The Spartan DX-12™ DNA analyzer, developed and manufactured by Spartan Bioscience Inc. is now available for world-wide commercial use. Priced at less than $12,500 U.S. and designed for non-batched PCR applications, the DX-12 is an easy-to-use, lightweight stand-alone instrument that produces both qualitative and quantitative results typically in 30 to 60 minutes.
About Spartan Bioscience
Spartan Bioscience Inc. is a privately-held molecular diagnostic instrumentation company developing, manufacturing, and marketing DNA analyzers for on-demand applications. Founded in 2005, the company is focusing on applications where rapid and convenient DNA testing is particularly important, such as low-throughput research experiments or time-critical diagnostic testing for infectious diseases. Other applications include human genetics, veterinary, food and water safety, and many others. The company is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada. For more information visit the website at www.spartanbio.com.
About Cooperative Diagnostics
With an R&D facility located in Greenwood, South Carolina, and a manufacturing and distribution facility located in Guatemala City, Guatemala, Cooperative Diagnostics combines superior real-time PCR assay design skills with proprietary informatics solutions for the rapid and efficient development of clinical molecular diagnostic assays. Since its inception in January of 2008, the company emphasis has been 100% focused on identifying and implementing ways to create sustainable change in diagnostics for global health. The company currently has four tests, HIV-1, HBV, HCV and Chagas together with a nucleic acid sample preparation kit available in Guatemala. Further tests are being developed for other neglected tropical diseases. For more information visit www.codiagnostics.com.