Wednesday 8th March 2017
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(Fixes reference to Callaghan funding in 4th paragraph in story that ran on March 7)
NZAX-listed TruScreen said it has entered into commercial agreements with Mumbai-based Khandelwal Laboratories Pvt to gain access to the Indian market for its cervical screening product.
TruScreen said in a release to the NZX the pair have teamed up to commence the evaluation process for inclusion in a screening programme the Indian government is in the process of implementing.
India has approximately 300 million women of screening age and the lack of access to cervical screening is cited as a major factor in the country accounting for nearly one-third of global deaths from cervical cancer. Last November, the Indian government announced efforts to address this mortality rate and mandated a national screening programme for cervical cancer for women aged over 30, with budget allowances commencing in 2017.
In India, and in particular rural India, there is a shortage of trained health professionals, cytologists and colposcopists. TruScreen's test uses a digital wand, which is placed on the surface of the cervix, to measure electrical and optical signals from the surrounding tissue and can operate outside the traditional laboratory infrastructure to give immediate test results.
The company has received R&D grants from the Australian Tax Office.
"We are delighted to enter into these commercial agreements with Khandelwal who are a reputable and well-established pharmaceutical and device supply company based in Mumbai. These agreements cover the distribution of TruScreen into the public and private sectors and also the likely establishment of in-country manufacturing facilities to satisfy supply to the government of India," said chief executive Martin Dillon.
TruScreen is already under similar evaluation by several other governments for use in their public screening programmes, including in Mexico, China and the Philippines.
On Monday it announced distribution agreements for the sale of its screening device in multiple new markets, including 10 countries in Europe, Kazakhstan in central Asia and Iran.
(BusinessDesk receives funding from Callaghan Innovation to cover the commercialisation of innovation)
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