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Battling Infectious Disease in China through Better Diagnostics Tools

October 31, 2014

Infectious diseases diagnostics.

HIV, HBV, and HCV are among the deadliest infectious diseases in the world, according to the World Health Organization, and are particularly challenging to combat in large, diverse populations where screening programs can be difficult to implement. In an effort to strengthen its diagnostics capabilities and improve upon the screening tools available in China, PerkinElmer acquired the China-based Shanghai Haoyuan Biotech Co., Ltd. The 2012 partnership created new opportunities to improve health in the region.

"By combining PerkinElmer's robust disease screening capabilities with Haoyuan's proprietary reagents and equipment, [we] will be able to offer highly sensitive systems and assays for quality detection of blood-borne infections for the Chinese market. "

- Robert Friel, CEO of PerkinElmer

The Threat of HBV, HCV, and HIV in China

There are approximately 780,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in China. The World Health Organization reports chronic infection rates of 8 to 10 percent of the adult population with HBV and that 3.2 percent of China's 1.4 billion population is living with HCV. Although HBV can be prevented through vaccination, HCV and HIV cannot and all three spread easily through bodily fluids and can be deadly if treatment is not readily available. This problem is compounded by China's annual 15 percent increase in the demand for blood, which is causing the Chinese government to demand more potent blood testing.

The Chinese government's latest plan mandates that all blood must be tested using nucleic acid technologies by the end of 2015. Compared to antibody testing methods, nucleic acid testing reduces the potential for failed detection of certain infection diseases that exhibit long incubation times between infection and detection. Compared to viruses such as influenza or the common cold that have incubation periods of less than a week, HBV and HIV both have average incubation periods of over three weeks.

Nucleic acid testing is particularly useful in testing for HIV, which has a typical incubation time of 25 days for standard antibody methods. Nucleic acid testing reduces the window in which HIV can be detected by at least a week.

Improving the Detection Rate of HIV, HBV, and HCV through Better Screening Tools

To combat these diseases, PerkinElmer has strengthened its diagnostics capabilities in nucleic acid blood screening and molecular diagnostics through its 2012 acquisition of Shanghai Haoyuan Biotech Co., Ltd., a China-based infectious disease diagnostics company. The acquisition extended PerkinElmer's portfolio by adding four infectious disease assays that were approved by China's State Food and Drug Administration (CFDA). These infectious disease diagnostics tools include a qualitative 3-in-1 assay for the detection of HBV, HCV, and HIV, two clinical quantitative assays that screen for HBV and HCV, and one qualitative assay screen for chlamydia and gonorrhea (CT/NG).

"By combining PerkinElmer's robust disease screening capabilities with Haoyuan's proprietary reagents and equipment, we will be able to offer highly sensitive systems and assays for quality detection of blood-borne infections for the Chinese market," said Robert Friel, chairman and chief executive officer of PerkinElmer. "Integrating Haoyuan's screening products with PerkinElmer's diagnostics capabilities will help to further advance the health of the Chinese people by offering leading technology that ensures accurate diagnosis of infectious diseases at a low cost."

The Haoyuan acquisition has also enabled PerkinElmer to supply advanced, highly sensitive diagnostics screenings to blood banks, ensuring that HBV, HCV and HIV are accurately detected prior to transfusion. Simultaneously, this product integration strengthens the safety of the blood banks in China while creating an opportunity for future implementation in other countries. In a clinical setting, the combined capabilities can also reduce time for identifying an infectious disease, which enables quicker treatment and better outcomes for patients.

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