SALT LAKE CITY -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Mentors International and Co-Diagnostics HBDC signed an agreement to lower real-time PCR test prices in the developing world, starting with tuberculosis. Under the agreement, Co-Diagnostics HBDC will provide low-cost testing reagents and Mentors International will leverage its international connections to set up low-cost testing facilities. The two organizations plan to start with a pilot program in Guatemala.
Real-time PCR testing detects the genetic signature of pathogens for rapid and accurate identification. However, the high cost of test kits, machinery and the amount of training required to run the tests prevents its adoption in many countries around the world. Co-Diagnostics HBDC is devoted to improving access to diagnostics for infectious disease, such as real-time PCR test kits, and has dramatically lowered the price of testing. Mentors International is leveraging its contacts to identify lower cost machines and provide skilled labor training to second-generation workers in its microfinancing program.
“Our microfinance loans and business training have provided individuals with a chance to lift themselves out of poverty. 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,” said Mark Petersen, President of Mentors International. “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.”
“Mentors International is helping to provide a framework to ensure that low test prices make it all the way through to the patient,” said Dr. Brent C. Satterfield, CEO of Co-Diagnostics HBDC. “In Guatemala, this could reduce the price of tuberculosis real-time PCR testing for the patient to less than 10% of what they currently pay. This should dramatically increase the number of patients who have access to high quality diagnostic care.”
About Co-Diagnostics HBDC
Co-Diagnostics HBDC addresses diagnostic problems for infectious diseases unique to high burden developing countries (HBDC). For more information, see http://hbdc.codiagnostics.com/ For information on the company’s Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) real-time PCR test kit, see http://hbdc.codiagnostics.com/products/TB_overview.php
About Mentors International
Mentors International helps the poor help themselves. With Mentors’ guiding principle of “a hand up, not a handout,” the donor-recipient relationship is transformed. Mentors requires full repayment of loans based on an individual’s ability to pay and provides clients with the tools of knowledge necessary to become self-sufficient. For more information, see www.mentorsinternational.org