Cepheid partners with aid organizations to deliver TB diagnostic

Cepheid, Inc., recently announced that it has signed a deal with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and three other aid organizations to offer its tuberculosis diagnostic kit to developing countries at a reduced price.

In addition to the Gates Foundation, Cepheid announced that it will be working with the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the United States Agency for International Development and UNITAID to help make the kit available in countries burdened by the illness, according to

As part of the deal, the aid organizations will provide additional funding to allow donor organizations and government agencies in 145 countries to purchase the Xpert MTB/RIF test at a reduced cost. The current cost of the test is $16.86, but with the discount it will decrease to $9.98.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation intends to provide $3.5 million in initial funding to make the test available at the new price as quickly as possible. The remainder of the tests should become available at the new price over the next 18 months, reports.

The California-based company's CEO, John Bishop, said he was pleased Cepheid could offer the test to high burden developing countries as a step towards reducing high mortality rates.