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Chembio Diagnostics to take over sales of rapid HIV test

Alina Sikar-Gang, a senior scientist at Chembio Diagnostics

Alina Sikar-Gang, a senior scientist at Chembio Diagnostics in Medford, analyzes protoypes of some the rapid tests the company produces on Oct. 24, 2014. Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Chembio Diagnostics Inc. announced plans Tuesday to take over U.S. sales of one of its rapid tests for HIV from another company on June 1.

The Medford-based manufacturer of point-of-care tests for HIV, syphilis, malaria and other diseases said distribution of its Sure Check HIV 1/2 Assay would no longer be done by Alere Inc. in the United States, effective May 31.

Chembio sales staff will market the test in the future to clinics and other health care facilities.

Chief executive John J. Sperzel III has built a sales force since joining the company in March 2014 and has signaled his plan to change how the test is sold domestically. Chembio already oversees sales in foreign countries.

Tuesday’s announcement “affirms our intent to gain full global rights related to the Sure Check HIV 1/2 Assay, including sales, marketing, distribution and trademark rights,” Sperzel said.

Waltham, Massachusetts-based Alere has been selling the Chembio blood test under the name Clearview Complete since 2006. The test produces a result in 15 minutes. It has been approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration and European regulators.

Sperzel said beginning June 1 Chembio would sell the test under the Sure Check name. He also said he couldn’t disclose the U.S. price until then.

The announcement came before the stock market opened. In afternoon trading, the company’s shares were up 11 cents to $4.41 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

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