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Chembio Diagnostics gets $13 million in orders from Brazil

Scientist Kathleen Addiss uses a pipette to introduce

Scientist Kathleen Addiss uses a pipette to introduce a blood sample for a DPP test for HIV-syphilis on Oct. 24, 2014. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

A Medford-based manufacturer of rapid diagnostic tests has secured nearly $13 million in orders from Brazil, executives said Tuesday.

Chembio Diagnostics Inc. expects to ship $8.5 million in tests and test components next year for use by Brazil’s public health system.

The point-of-care tests will be used to combat HIV and Leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease spread by sandflies. The symptoms of Leishmaniasis include skin ulcers, fever, low red blood cell count and an enlarged liver.

The order for tests and test components from Chembio comes on the heels of the company receiving payments of $4.2 million from Brazil for this year’s shipments.

The orders are substantial for the local company, which reported revenue of $18 million last year.

They come from Bio-Manguinhos, a subsidiary of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, which is responsible for the development and production of vaccines, diagnostics and drugs for Brazil’s Ministry of Health. Chembio has worked with Bio-Manguinhos for several years.

Chembio CEO John Sperzel said the company’s “point-of-care diagnostic tests, along with prevention and treatment, are essential elements of Brazil’s response to HIV and Leishmaniasis incidence, and we are pleased to play an important role in the country’s effort to reduce infection rates.”

Chembio shares closed down 20 cents, or almost 3 percent, to $7.05 on the Nasdaq market. The stock is up 4 percent over the past 12 months.

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