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Medford-based Chembio Diagnostics lands $5.8M contract with Brazil

Junior scientist Melissa Ahrens and Research and Development

Junior scientist Melissa Ahrens and Research and Development director Dhammika Gunasekera perform a laboratory test at Chembio Diagnostics' Medford headquarters on Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

Chembio Diagnostics Inc. has landed a $5.8 million sales order for diagnostic test components and HIV tests for Brazil, executives said Wednesday.

The Medford-based manufacturer of rapid tests for HIV, syphilis, Ebola and other infectious diseases said it would be supporting the production of HIV tests in Brazil for use by the country’s Ministry of Health for a testing program.

The order was placed by Chembio’s longtime partner in Brazil, Bio-Manguinhos/Fiocruz, the subsidiary of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation that develops and produces vaccines and other treatments for Brazil’s public health system.

Bio-Manguinhos will supply the finished tests, which will carry the Bio-Manguinhos brand name, according to Chembio CEO John Sperzel.

The order is one of Chembio’s largest to date.

In March, the company reported its revenue totaled $18 million last year, including $14 million in product sales.

Sperzel said Wednesday that he couldn’t comment on how many months the order would cover, but “generally such tenders occur annually.”

He also said, “We are pleased to play an important role in [Brazil’s] effort to reduce HIV infection rates and identify patients who will benefit from antiretroviral treatment.”

The tests use samples of blood or saliva and produce a result in 15 minutes.

Sperzel said the Brazilian government had certified Chembio’s Medford factory practices so that its output could be imported directly to Brazil.

Chembio shares closed up 20 cents, or 3 percent, to $6.65 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The shares have fallen 38 cents, or 5.4 percent, in the past 12 months.

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