St. Petersburg: On Tuesday in St. Petersburg, Russian biotechnological company BioPalette launched the mass production of “MultiSCREEN,” the world’s first test system designed to simultaneously screen for the presence of such diseases as HIV, hepatitis B and C, and syphilis.
According to BioPalette head Vladimir Okrul, the company needed to invest 80 million rubles ($1 million) to begin mass production of the screening kit, and Russia’s Industrial Development Fund has provided a preferential loan of 50.7 million rubles.
“As a result, at the initial stage, investments for the launch of production of combined test systems of this promising development exceeded 130 million rubles. We are starting production of industrial batches of the product, ” Okrul told reporters.
According to BioPalette development director Andrey Berezin, the firm has decided to create a combined test, as it now occupies about 7% of the market for diagnostics in the field of HIV tests, while the market for the “hospital four” — that is, the most common tests: hepatitis B & C, syphilis, and HIV – is estimated at 6.7 billion rubles.
“Our experience has allowed us to model such a system to produce four tests in one analysis. This will reduce the number of imported test suppliers, increase the country’s export potential, and the countries of the Middle East are already interested in our products. And the most important thing is to reduce the labor and time spent on tests. The results of the study can be found out in about two hours, which is three times faster than now,” Berezin said.
According to the company, there are currently no similar test systems in the world which can diagnose four infections at the molecular level in a single analysis. One tablet system, MultiSCREEN, comprising components for 96 tests, is a completely domestic development. The company plans to produce 60,000 tablets, or 5.76 million tests annually, and expects the invention to open up a promising market for combined and multiplex systems.