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Magellan Dx Inks Deal to Provide Lead Testing in Africa

NEW YORK (360Dx) ­– Meridian Bioscience announced today that its Magellan Diagnostics subsidiary has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Biofirm Technologies to provide Magellan's blood lead testing system in parts of Africa.

Biofirm distributes lab supplies in East and Central Africa.

Magellan offers the LeadCare II test, a US Food and Drug Administration-cleared and CLIA waived portable system for lead testing that takes three minutes to run and requires only two drops of whole blood.

Lead exposure causes behavioral and learning disabilities, and kidney dysfunction, Meridian noted in a statement, and the World Health Organization has highlighted lead poisoning concerns in African countries due to numerous sources of lead to which children can be exposed, including "lead paint in homes, on toys and on playground equipment; occupational sources from mining, smelting, battery manufacture/recycling, and e-waste processing; as well traditional medicines, cosmetics, and artisanal cookware."

"To understand the challenges of lead poisoning, and to find solutions, you must have a simple way to identify who is most at risk," Magellan Dx CEO Amy Winslow said in a statement. "We look forward to helping Biofirm Technologies provide LeadCare II to address this need."

Distribution activities with Biofirm Technologies will begin immediately, Meridian said, focusing on developing awareness at clinical and governmental levels about the problem of lead poisoning. Education will address sources of lead exposure and consequences, as well as how portable testing can rapidly identify at-risk populations.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.