Chembio Diagnostics, Inc. (OTCBB/exchange>: CEMI), which develops, manufactures, markets and licenses point-of-care diagnostic tests, has agreed to provide over 2,000 PrimaTB STAT-PAK® tuberculosis (TB) testing kits which are approved for use in Macaques to the Orangutan Conservancy (OC) to support the organization's continued drive to raise the level of veterinary care at orangutan rehabilitation centers.
"This is a major development, and the OC is proud to be able to support the rehabilitation centers in this way," said Norm Rosen, president of the Orangutan Conservancy. "The rescue and recovery of orangutans is only as feasible as their health, and accurately identifying a disease like tuberculosis is a major step forward." The PrimaTB STAT-PAK® kits are part of a testing program that will ask orangutan rehabilitation centers to partner with Chembio and gather data throughout 2010. The outcomes will be published jointly afterward.
PrimaTB STAT-PAK® kits shorten the time required to diagnose this disease from weeks to minutes. Tuberculosis, which is a severe respiratory disease in primates, can be deadly for orangutans. Orangutan Conservancy rehabilitation centers care for over 1,500 orphaned orangutans at facilities in Southeast Asia (mainly on the Indonesian islands of Borneo and Sumatra). The testing kits will be distributed to the rehabilitation centers beginning in early 2010, along with training programs in the proper use and diagnostics.
"Tuberculosis affects all primates," said Lawrence Siebert, Chief Executive Officer of Chembio Diagnostics. "Orangutans are endangered due to the encroachment of humans into their rainforest habitats. So, the spread of TB represents a clear and present danger to their continued existence. Our test kits allow veterinary medical care providers to identifying sick animals with only one encounter, which increases the chance of identifying animals with the disease. We are very happy that our tests will help to improve the health of this endangered animal species."
Chembio's agreement to donate the test kits mirrors an earlier agreement between Chembio and the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA), which will provide over 1,000 tuberculosis testing kits to African primate rescue centers.
Chembio Diagnostics, Inc.