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Akers Biosciences Announces Joint Venture To Market Rapid Diagnostic Tests In China

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Akers Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: AKER) (LSE:AKR) (the "Company" or "Akers"), a leading designer and manufacturer of rapid diagnostic screening and testing products, has signed a Joint Venture Agreement (the "Joint Venture Agreement") with Hainan Savy Investment Management Ltd ("Hainan") and Mr. Thomas Knox ("Thomas Knox"), the Company's Non-executive Co-Chairman (Akers, Hainan and Thomas Knox together the "Parties"), to research, develop, produce and sell certain Akers' rapid diagnostic screening and testing products in China (the "Joint Venture"). The Joint Venture Company will be located in Haikou, the capital city of the province of Hainan, China, and is incorporated as Hainan Savy Akers Biosciences, Ltd.

The principals of Hainan have a track record of success helping numerous companies establish markets in China, which is the world's most populous country and among the fastest growing in vitro diagnostics markets with an estimated 18% annual growth rate. This annual growth rate is driven by China's aging population, which has resulted in an increasing level of chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, and changing lifestyles, which are fueling rising levels of infectious diseases. According to a 2012 report from McKinsey & Company, many "highly prevalent and burdensome conditions remain underdiagnosed and undertreated in China." The report also highlights the growing need for "better and earlier diagnosis" of diseases in China, a healthcare market that is estimated to surpass $1 trillion in spending by 2020.

The Joint Venture plans to locate its headquarters in the prestigious Haikou National Hi-Tech Industrial Zone, and establish a manufacturing operation in the same area. The business will be structured to utilize numerous government incentives intended to develop and promote the Chinese diagnostic industry. As part of the agreement, the Joint Venture will be involved in the research, development, manufacturing, sales and marketing of Akers' rapid diagnostic screening and testing products In China. The Joint Venture will also explore other market opportunities in Asia.

Under the terms of the Joint Venture Agreement, the Joint Venture will market and sell the majority of Akers' product line, with a special emphasis on diabetes, cardiac, and infectious diseases rapid diagnostic screening and testing products.

Akers currently offers numerous diagnostic screening and testing products internationally, including its Breath Ketone test for diabetic monitoring, CHUBE disposable breath alcohol detectors, Tri-Cholesterol test, and PIFA (particle immunofiltration assay) based tests for infectious diseases such as chlamydia, dengue fever, malaria, and syphilis. More information on Akers' suite of testing solutions can be found at: http://www.akersbiosciences.com/products/.

Pursuant to the Joint Venture Agreement, the Joint Venture has elected a Board of Directors (the "Board") which will consist of Marco Ma, Wendy Wen, Hellen Ma, Raymond F. Akers Jr., Ph.D and Thomas Knox.

"This is a landmark day for Akers Biosciences. We are delighted to sign this agreement with Hainan as we endeavor to establish Akers' products in China, one of the world's leading emerging markets. The Joint Venture Agreement will support Akers' strategy on global growth, following our other recent distribution agreements in the U.S., Middle East, and Asia. This will also enable us to design and manufacture new rapid diagnostic screening and testing products in China," said Raymond F. Akers Jr., Ph.D, Executive Chairman.

"The creation of this Joint Venture is a timely move designed to meet the growing demand in the rapidly expanding Chinese market," continued Dr. Akers. "We look forward to working closely with Hainan going forward."

 

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