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FIND, Malaysia Ministry of Health Partner on HCV Diagnosis

NEW YORK (360Dx) – The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) announced today that it has partnered with the nonprofit group Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM) to develop a new strategy for hepatitis C diagnosis.

FIND said it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work with CRM to assess the use of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) in decentralized primary healthcare facilities in Malaysia. FIND added that it would provide technical assistance to the Malaysian Ministry of Health — which operates CRM — on the project.

All individuals participating in the initiative will be screened with World Health Organization prequalified diagnostics, and those found to have active HCV will receive treatment through either an ongoing clinical trial of an HCV drug combo or Malaysia's existing national HCV program.

"The introduction of RDTs and simpler diagnostic pathways is a critical step in scaling up hepatitis C care," FIND CEO Catharina Boehme said in a statement. "This MOU with CRM allows us to work closely with the Malaysian government and ensure that the evidence generated can be used to inform national policy so that more people can know their status and enter the care cascade."

The project is being conducted as part of FIND's Hepatitis C Elimination Through Access to Diagnostics program, which is supported by a Unitaid grant. Last month, FIND awarded grants to several companies for the development of new HCV diagnostics.

In May, FIND announced the start of two initiatives to improve diagnostic technologies for antimicrobial resistance and potential disease outbreaks.