malaria

Hemex Health is developing a diagnostic test that it said could particularly benefit rural and economically challenged areas of the world. 

Researchers have found that regions limiting the overuse of antimalarial drugs may lead to the overuse of antibiotics instead, among other issues.  

The firm, which raised $7.1 million from its IPO last week, is looking to move into geographies where a need for infectious disease tests are already well established, its CEO said. 

The deal between GE, the Global Good Fund, and Access Bio is to manufacture and distribute malaria diagnostic technologies in low-resource nations.

The commercial future of the test is uncertain, but one of its developers said that work to develop it demonstrates even mature technologies can have new clinical value. 

The test was made about 10 times more sensitive than standard rapid immunoassays by tweaking a number of the firm's proprietary technologies, a company official said.

P. falciparum by Dr. Osaro Erhabor, Wikimedia Commons

The studies provide further support for Meridian's Illumigene Malaria as a tool for routine screening of travelers in non-endemic areas of the world.

Modeled on a children's toy, the device can separate plasma from whole blood in less than two minutes and costs $.20 to make.

By detecting as little as one parasite per microliter of whole blood, the test could be used to further future efforts aimed at malaria eradication.