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BD, Babson Diagnostics Partner on Blood Collection for Retail Setting

NEW YORK – Becton Dickinson and Babson Diagnostics have initiated a long-term partnership to support small volume blood collection at retail pharmacies, they announced on Wednesday.

The firms intend to help retail pharmacies offer lab-quality diagnostic testing by using a combination of BD's capillary blood collection device and Babson Diagnostics' proprietary automated sample handling and analytical technologies. Both BD's and Babson's technologies are currently in development.

BD's capillary specimen collection device will be designed for health care settings without a trained phlebotomist, such as retail pharmacies, physician offices, urgent care centers, and skilled nursing facilities.

Babson's diagnostic blood testing is designed to allow customers to get physician-ordered or self-ordered diagnostic blood tests at convenient retail pharmacies. The company's website notes that the capillary collection technology being developed with BD is designed to minimize exposure to evaporation and gas exchange, stop premature clotting, mitigate contamination by interstitial fluid and cellular material, prevent hemolysis, and "collect pea-sized samples with quality appropriate for diagnostic testing, producing results clinically equivalent to those from venipuncture."

Babson and BD are also undertaking clinical studies of these devices in retail pharmacy settings. BD plans to prepare regulatory submissions to the US Food and Drug Administration and other global regulatory bodies upon completion of these clinical studies, according to a statement.

Patrick Kaltenbach, executive vice president and president of life sciences at BD, said that patient expectations for healthcare are evolving, and patients are demanding care in more convenient settings.

"With our specimen management innovations, we hope to revolutionize diagnostic testing to meet patient expectations with laboratory-quality tests that can be performed with small blood samples that do not require venipuncture," he said. "Babson Diagnostics will help bring BD's advanced capillary blood collection products to emerging health care settings, making laboratory-quality diagnostics more accessible to patients in the US and around the world," Kaltenbach added.

The partnership builds on a collaboration between the two companies dating back to 2017 when Babson was launched as an independent startup by veterans of Siemens Healthineers. Babson is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and has secured $7 million in Series A financing, according to its website.