A LIMERICK biotechnology company has signed a US$12 million deal with the Brazilian state for the development of diagnostic tests across a national health system with over 150 million users.
GenCell Biosystems employs 45 people, many of them PhDs, is based in Raheen and also has an operation in Madison, Wisconsin.
It has just announced its partnership with the Institute of Molecular Biology of Parana and the Fiocruz Public Health Foundation, which is directly linked to the ministry of health in Latin America’s biggest and most populous country.
Genetic analysis systems developed by GenCell will help Brazil’s health system screen patients for pathogens and viruses in a more cost-effective manner.
Dr Kieran Curran, founder and CEO of the Limerick firm said: “this is an exciting partnership with potentially far reaching benefits for healthcare in Brazil”.
“Our technology has a unique advantage in its capacity to generate high-quality diagnostic information, more quickly and at less cost. We are delighted to work with IBMP and Fiocruz, who are recognized as the most prominent science and technology health institutions in Latin America. We look forward to using our technology to significantly contribute to healthcare in Brazil.”
The $12 million deal will see GenCell involved in a two-year development programme to better diagnose infectious diseases. It also paves the way for what GenCell hopes will be “significant” follow-on sales.
Dr Mario Moreira, director in molecular biology at the Institute of Paraná explained that several public health programmes in Brazil “depend on reliable IVD (in-vitro diagnostic) platforms to detect and diagnose infectious as well as chronic-degenerative diseases”.
“Thus, the provision of state-of-the-art IVD platforms is an essential element of public health care.”
Dr Moriera stated that safe technology was “of paramount importance” and the GenCell partnership was part and parcel of improving safeguards in genetic testing.