A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

MedMira (Halifax, Nova Scotia), a developer of rapid flow-through diagnostic technologies, reported receiving a monthly standing order for the next year from Goodman Medical Supplies, its Hong Kong distributor, for the MiraCare Rapid HIV Test, as part of a three-year distribution agreement.

MiraCare, an over-the-counter (OTC) rapid HIV test, is distributed to pharmacies in Hong Kong and Macao, in the People's Republic of China. It is sold as a complete test package with results in just three minutes.

Since launch of MiraCare at the end of January, Med-Mira reports having shipped 5,000 tests monthly to Goodman to fulfill an order based on initial sales estimates. The new annual standing order, beginning in July, increases the monthly shipment to 20,000 units.

"MiraCare is our highest-profile product, and it is quickly becoming one of MedMira's market leaders," said Stephen Sham, chairman and CEO of MedMira. "Goodman's extensive experience in medical supply distribution has been clearly demonstrated by its timely and very successful expansion into new market verticals for our product."

Collen Chan, managing director of Goodman, said, "MedMira's OTC rapid HIV test is a proven success in our distribution network. Our success to date will serve as the basis for expansion of the MiraCare product line in our sales territory."

MedMira manufactures in vitro flow-through rapid diagnostic tests for the clinical laboratory market. The FDA and its equivalent in the People's Republic of China have approved its Reveal G2 and MiraWell Rapid HIV Tests, used in clinical laboratories and hospitals, primarily where professional counseling and patient treatment are immediately available, the company said.

Agilent to broaden efforts in India

Agilent Technologies (Palo Alto, California) last month reported plans to introduce its DNA microarray-based genomics solutions into India's growing life sciences market.

The company currently sells technologies for the biotechnology, chemical, environmental and pharmaceutical manufacturing markets in India, and said it expects to expand its presence into industries such as medical research, drug discovery and agro-biotech.

"Agilent's Life Sciences and Chemical Analysis [LSCA] business had double-digit growth in India last year, driven by the country's booming biotechnology, agriculture, information technology and pharmaceuticals industries,' said Sanjeev Dhar, country manager for the LSCA business in India. "India is now LSCA's fourth-largest country of business in Asia, and one of the fastest-growing. We expect this growth to continue as we launch our solutions for the life sciences sector into areas such as genomics and proteomics research."

Genomics and bioinformatics company Genotypic has estimated that the Indian microarray market will grow by some 70% this year.

"Growth in sectors like biopharmaceuticals, contract research bioservices, agriculture, genetic engineering and molecular medicine will drive growth for analytical instrumentation," Dhar said.

Agilent's initial plans focus on introducing its DNA microarray-based genomics solutions, which improve the productivity of gene-expression and genomics research.

Protedyne opens office in UK

Laboratory automation supplier Protedyne (Windsor, Connecticut) has opened an office in the UK. Located in Essex, the new office houses the company's European sales and support groups.

Ashley Gould, the company's regional manager for Europe, will oversee the UK facility.

"Protedyne's fast-growing European customer base, coupled with our strong focus on customer support, has provided us with a timely opportunity to expand our presence in Europe," said Catherine Williams, vice president, sales, marketing & customer care. "Having a sales and support office located in the United Kingdom will enable us to rapidly respond to the needs of our European customers."

Protedyne said its BioCube System platform brings advanced industrial automation capabilities into the life science laboratory.