MedMira wins $4.2m US army contract to commercialize rapid test for HIV and hepatitis

23 July 2012

Canadian diagnostics company MedMira has been awarded a US Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity (USAMRAA) contract to develop and commercialize a rapid test capable of simultaneous detection of HIV and Hepatitis B and C.

The Multiplo Rapid HBV/HIV/HCV Antibody Test resulting from this contract award will be deployed on the frontlines of military healthcare for use in emergency screening for transfusion transmitted diseases where no FDA approved donor screening tests are available. The military could also put the test to use during pre and post deployment screenings and civilian disaster relief efforts.

Hermes Chan, CEO of MedMira Inc, said, "We are thrilled to receive this new contract from USAMRAA for the development and commercialization of our Multiplo test. This contract award demonstrates the excellent fit between MedMira's technology and products and military requirements. We have built a lasting relationship with the US Army, delivering advanced diagnostic solutions that reduce the need for militaries to undertake ground-up development work. MedMira's technology and products are elegantly simple, portable, fast, and high quality. All of these attributes are mission critical in deploying diagnostic healthcare solutions on the frontlines of military healthcare.

"Our team recently attended a conference focused on military pre-hospital trauma management where we heard first hand of the need for a multiple rapid HBV/HIV/HCV test from many of the leading experts, military personnel, and medical professionals in this field."

The US Army will fund all development costs and associated fees in obtaining a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) premarket approval (PMA) for this multiple rapid test. The scope of work under this contract will see MedMira advance and fully commercialize a multiple rapid test that will simultaneously detect three of the most serious infectious diseases, namely HIV-1/2, Hepatitis B, and C antibodies within three minutes using just a small drop of blood. Once approved, the product will be supplied by MedMira directly to the US Army and to other customers throughout the world, both military and civilian, via the Company's distribution network.

"A multiplexed test for transfusion transmitted diseases provides an enabling technology that will be used to mitigate risk in austere environments where emergency blood collections are necessary to save lives of severely wounded war fighters," said Colonel Richard Gonzales, Product Manager, U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity.


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