NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Qiagen today said that it will provide molecular sample and assay technologies for a PCR-based blood screening program for HIV and hepatitis C virus in Brazil.
The contract — signed with Bio-Manguinhos, which provides vaccines and diagnostics to the Brazilian Ministry of Health — will run for five years, following approval by Brazilian patent authorities. The deal contains options for subsequent extensions, said Qiagen.
The new, national screening is scheduled to start next year. Qiagen estimated that around 5 million blood donations are performed each year in Brazil.
"The new program marks the effort to complement these traditional, immunodiagnostic tests with nucleic-acid-based, molecular assays that are considered significantly more sensitive in detecting infection," Qiagen said in a statement.
The firm recently has been expanding its presence in the Latin and South American markets. Late last year, Qiagen announced that the Mexican Public Health Agency would launch a human papillomavirus screening program that would include the use of its Digene molecular HPV assay.