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Chembio plans to start selling rapid test for malaria

Chembio Diagnostics chief executive John J. Sperzel at

Chembio Diagnostics chief executive John J. Sperzel at a company laboratory in Medford on Oct. 28, 2014. Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Chembio Diagnostics Inc. plans to begin commercial sales of its recently developed rapid test for malaria, the Medford company announced Tuesday.

Company executives said recently completed research showed its DPP Malaria Assay had greater sensitivity than other point-of-care tests on the market in detecting plasmodium falciparum and other plasmodium infections.

The Chembio test identified "the parasite infection at very low levels," said chief science officer Javan Esfandiari.

The malaria test was development in six months of this year. It will be sold commercially as part of a series of combination tests for malaria, Ebola and other fever diseases.

Malaria occurs in nearly 100 countries and strikes about 200 million people per year, according to the World Health Organization. Sales of rapid tests for the disease totaled 319 million units from all sources in 2013, up from 46 million in 2008.

Chembio is best known for its HIV and syphilis tests. The HIV tests are sold in the United States under the Clearview Complete name.

The company's announcement came before the stock market opening. In early trading, Chembio shares were up 6 cents, or 1 percent, to $4.90 on the Nasdaq Market.

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