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Chembio Diagnostics to sell new reader with its tests

Chembio Diagnostics Inc. on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015,

Chembio Diagnostics Inc. on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, announced plans to sell a new reader with some of its rapid medical tests. This is a Chembio lab in Medford on Feb. 19, 2014. Credit: Heather Walsh

Chembio Diagnostics Inc. Wednesday announced plans to sell a new reader with some of its rapid medical tests.

The Medford-based manufacturer of point-of-care tests for HIV, Ebola, malaria and other diseases has reached agreement for a palm-sized reader made by a German company, opTricon of Berlin.

The reader will produce results for tests of sexually transmitted diseases, fever diseases and an undisclosed form of cancer. Chembio has blood tests or is developing them for each of these ailments.

The battery-powered reader has a camera capable of providing "definitive diagnostic results for low analyte concentrations, which may otherwise result in faint or ambiguous test results," Chembio officials said. An analyte is a substance being subjected to chemical analysis.

The DPP Micro Reader also will be able to record and transmit test results.

"While point-of-care testing is a critical part of global health care, long-term success requires innovation that extends beyond the diagnostic test and includes data capture, transmission and storage," chief executive John J. Sperzel said. For some of Chembio's tests, the "DPP Micro Reader will provide an innovative, cost-effective solution," he said.

Chembio shares fell 9 cents, or about 2 percent, to close at $4.88 on the Nasdaq Market Wednesday. The company's stock is up more than 24 percent since the start of the year.

Earlier this month, Chembio received a $2.1 million grant from the Paul G. Allen Ebola Program to develop an all-in-one test for six fever illnesses: malaria, dengue, Ebola, Lassa, Marburg and chikungunya. The one-year grant from the co-founder of Microsoft Corp. was seen as a major boost for the business.

Chembio's test for malaria and malaria/Ebola are being tried out in West Africa by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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