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Chembio lands $10.5 million order from Brazilian government

Chembio Diagnostics plans to hire more research and

Chembio Diagnostics plans to hire more research and development workers while eliminating some production workers, records show. Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

Chembio Diagnostics Inc. announced Tuesday it has received a $10.5 million order from the Brazilian government for test components and other products to detect HIV and leishmaniasis.

The products will be used for rapid tests to be produced in Brazil for use there, the Medford-based company said. The sales revenue will be received next year.

Leishmaniasis is spread by sand flies and characterized by skin ulcers.

Tuesday’s announcement is an outgrowth of Chembio’s long-standing relationship with Bio-Manguinhos, a subsidiary of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation that is responsible for providing diagnostic tests, vaccines and medicine to Brazil’s public health system.

“We are pleased with the ongoing commitment from Brazil’s Ministry of Health and the increased level of annual purchases” of tests, Chembio CEO John Sperzel said in a statement. “The use of rapid diagnostic tests is an essential element of Brazil’s response to infectious disease incidence.”

The tests involve a sample of blood or salvia. 

Chembio received a $8.5 million order from Brazil earlier this year, which followed a $5.8 million order in 2017. The manufacturer also began last year to sell a Zika virus test in Brazil, which was hit hard by the mosquito-borne disease that causes brain damage in children.

Chembio reported a loss of $6.4 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2017 compared with a loss of $13.3 million a year earlier. Revenue climbed to $24 million, a 34 percent gain year over year.

Chembio shares rose 6 cents Tuesday, or about 0.6 percent, to close at $9.90 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. A year ago, the shares closed at $6.45.

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