Chembio Diagnostics (CEMI) Awarded CDC Contract for Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya Surveillance

September 28, 2016 8:52 AM EDT
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Chembio Diagnostics, Inc. (Nasdaq: CEMI), a leader in point-of-care (POC) diagnostic tests for infectious diseases, today announced that the Company has been awarded a $330,000 contract by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the purchase of POC surveillance diagnostic assays for Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya. Under the terms of the 12-month contract, Chembio will provide its DPP® Zika IgM/IgG Assay, DPP® Zika/Chikungunya/Dengue IgM/IgG Combination Assay, and DPP® Micro Reader to the CDC, for a surveillance testing pilot program in India, Peru, Guatemala and Haiti.

The Company’s DPP® Zika IgM/IgG and DPP® Zika/Chikungunya/Dengue IgM/IgG Combination Assays detect antibodies using a tiny (10uL) drop of blood from the fingertip and provide quantitative results in 15 minutes, using Chembio’s patented DPP® technology platform and handheld, battery-operated DPP® Micro Reader.

John Sperzel, Chembio's Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are thrilled that CDC has chosen Chembio as a partner in the fight against the Zika virus, and we look forward to deploying our DPP® Zika IgM/IgG Assay, DPP® Zika/Chikungunya/Dengue IgM/IgG Combination Assay and DPP® Micro Reader in India, Peru, Guatemala and Haiti. Collectively, these four countries represent a population of nearly 1.4 billion that is experiencing local transmission of one or more of these mosquito-borne viruses. We believe this pilot program will demonstrate the ability of our DPP® assays to discriminate among the viruses, identify co-infected patients, and limit the spread of these serious, life-threatening diseases.”

Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947. While there are cases of sexual transmission of the Zika virus, it is believed that the virus is primarily transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito from the Aedes genus, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, the same mosquitos that transmit Dengue, Chikungunya and Yellow Fever. In January 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to respond both to outbreaks of Zika occurring in the Americas and to increased reports of microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome in areas affected by Zika. In February 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) because of clusters of microcephaly and other neurological disorders in some areas affected by Zika. Since 2015, Zika outbreaks have been recorded in approximately 60 countries and territories, with symptoms similar to other arbovirus infections such as dengue. Those symptoms include fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise and headache.

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