NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Co-Diagnostics HBDC and Mentors International have inked an agreement to offer real-time PCR-based tests in developing nations at lower costs, they announced today.
Starting with a pilot program in Guatemala and an initial testing focus on tuberculosis, Co-Diagnostics HBDC will provide low-cost testing reagents, and Mentors will leverage its international network to create low-cost testing facilities. Mentors will identify machines that cost less and provide training to second-generation workers in its microfinancing program.
Mentors is a non-profit microfinancing organization that aims to help the impoverished in developing countries achieve self-sufficiency. It creates partner foundations in developing countries and provides start-up support, training, operational funding, and loan capital for those partner foundations.
"Mentors International is helping to provide a framework to ensure that low test prices make it all the way through to the patient," Co-Diagnostics HBDC CEO Brent Satterfield said in a statement. "In Guatemala, this could reduce the price of tuberculosis real-time PCR testing for the patient to less than 10 percent of what they currently pay. This should dramatically increase the number of patients who have access to high-quality diagnostic care."
Co-Diagnostics HBDC, established last month, is a joint venture between Co-Diagnostics and DNA Logix to tackle infectious diseases in high-burden developing countries.