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Chembio, Integrated BioTherapeutics team up to develop point-of-care diagnostic tests for Ebola, febrile illness.

M2 PHARMA-October 28, 2014-Chembio, Integrated BioTherapeutics team up to develop point-of-care diagnostic tests for Ebola, febrile illness

(C)2014 M2 COMMUNICATIONS

28 October 2014 - US point-of-care diagnostic tests developer Chembio Diagnostics Inc (NASDAQ:CEMI) reported Monday that it had signed an exclusive agreement with US biotechnology company Integrated BioTherapeutics Inc, under which Chembio will combine its patented DPP technology with Integrated BioTherapeutics' Ebola reagents to develop point-of-care (POC) diagnostic tests for Ebola and febrile illness.

Chembio will have exclusive rights to any POC product developed within this agreement. Financial terms of the deal were not revealed.

At present, the diagnosis of Ebola haemorrhagic fever can only be performed in specialised laboratories. This limitation leads to a considerable delay in the identification and isolation of the patients who have Ebola and in turn likely makes it harder to control an outbreak or prevent new epidemics.

Javan Esfandiari, Chembio's chief science & technology officer and the inventor of Chembio's DPP technology, said that back in 2013, the company partnered with the US Government to develop a multiplex POC febrile illness assay which, in 20 minutes, can spot antigens from five different viruses, bacteria, and parasites with a single, finger-stick drop of blood. The resulting product - DPP Febrile Illness Assay, is currently in clinical studies in several countries, including the region of West Africa. The company's aim is to develop a stand-alone POC DPP Ebola test, as well as to include an Ebola test as part of Chembio's existing multiplex DPP Febrile Illness Assay.

Chembio's CEO, John Sperzel, called the partnership with Integrated BioTherapeutics an important step in the company's continued efforts to expand Chembio's POC infectious disease portfolio. He said the company's success in developing the multiplex DPP Febrile Illness Assay serves as testament to Chembio's ability to create such tests in a short amount of time.

Integrated BioTherapeutics' president and chief scientific officer, M. Javad Aman, noted that the Ebola outbreak is a humanitarian crisis and global public health challenge. Developing a rapid POC test for the disease will be a vital step towards enabling early detection and quarantine that could help save countless lives. Via this partnership, the capabilities of the two companies will be combined to produce a POC product that the partners believe will meet this serious challenge in a timely manner, Aman added.

In this transaction, Chembio is represented by Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP and Integrated BioTherapeutics is represented by Crowell & Moring LLP.

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Date:Oct 28, 2014
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