WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

Co-Diagnostics HBDC signs agreement to lower PCR testing prices

Mentors International and Co-Diagnostics HBDC recently signed an agreement to lower test prices on real-time PCR in underdeveloped countries beginning with tuberculosis.

According to the agreement, Co-Diagnostics HBDC will drop prices on reagent testing and Mentors International will negotiate with organizations internationally to establish low-cost facilities to conduct testing. The first pilot program will begin in Guatemala.

"Mentors International is helping to provide a framework to ensure that low test prices make it all the way through to the patient" CEO of Co-Diagnostics HBDC Dr. Brent C. Satterfield said. "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."

The real-time PCR testing will be able to detect the genetic key of pathogens for quick and accurate pathogen identification. This type of testing is typically costly due to the high price of machinery and time spent training staff on how to evaluate the pathogen properly. Mentors International is seeking skilled workers and low-cost machinery to bring the PCR real time testing to the developing world.

"Our microfinance loans and business training have provided individuals with a chance to lift themselves out of poverty," Mentors International President Mark Petersen said. "We are delighted to see the next stage of this program where their children are able to participate in even greater economic opportunity such as receiving training to run the most advanced diagnostic tests in the world. Not only are they breaking the cycle of poverty but they are also providing much needed healthcare services for their country by making DNA testing for infectious disease affordable."