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Chembio Partners With Integrated BioTherapeutics, Inc. To Develop Point-of-Care Diagnostic Tests For Ebola And Febrile Illness

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Chembio Diagnostics, Inc. (Nasdaq: CEMI), a leader in point-of-care (POC) diagnostic tests for infectious diseases, today announced that it has entered into an exclusive agreement with Integrated BioTherapeutics, Inc. (IBT), a biotechnology company focused on the discovery of novel vaccines and therapeutics for emerging infectious diseases. Under the terms of the agreement, Chembio will combine its patented DPP® technology with IBT's proprietary Ebola reagents to develop POC diagnostic tests for Ebola and febrile illness. Chembio will have exclusive rights to any POC product developed through this agreement. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

While Ebola has caused multiple outbreaks since 1976, the frequency of epidemics in the past 15 years has drastically increased and the current outbreak in West Africa has reached unprecedented dimensions. Over 10,000 people have been infected with Ebola and recent cases outside the African continent are drawing concern from public health officials. Currently, the diagnosis of Ebola hemorrhagic fever can only be performed in specialized laboratories. This limitation significantly delays the identification and isolation of the patients who have Ebola and in turn likely makes it more difficult to control an outbreak or prevent new epidemics.

Javan Esfandiari, Chembio's Chief Science & Technology Officer and the inventor of Chembio's DPP® technology, commented, "We are pleased to partner with IBT, a biotechnology company with extensive experience and a substantial number of reagents for Ebola and other filoviruses, to develop a DPP® Ebola assay. In 2013, we partnered with the U.S. Government to develop a multiplex POC febrile illness assay which, in 20 minutes, can detect antigens from five different viruses, bacteria, and parasites with a single, finger-stick drop of blood. The resulting product, DPP® Febrile Illness Assay, is currently in clinical trials in several countries, including the region of West Africa. Our intent is to develop a stand-alone POC DPP® Ebola test and also include an Ebola test as part of our existing multiplex DPP® Febrile Illness Assay."

John Sperzel, Chembio's Chief Executive Officer, commented, "The partnership with IBT is a significant step in our continued efforts to expand Chembio's POC infectious disease portfolio. Our prior success developing the multiplex DPP® Febrile Illness Assay demonstrates Chembio's ability to create such tests in a short amount of time, and we believe this partnership illustrates the value that our DPP® technology brings to the broader diagnostic market. Through this agreement, Chembio's goal is to further develop innovative, sensitive and specific POC diagnostic tests for detection of febrile illnesses, including Ebola."

M. Javad Aman, President and Chief Scientific Officer of IBT, commented, "We are facing a humanitarian crisis and global public health challenge. Development of a rapid POC test for Ebola will be a critical step towards enabling early detection and quarantine that could help save countless lives. Through this partnership, the capabilities of the two companies will be combined to produce a POC product we believe will meet this serious challenge in a timely manner."

Chembio is represented by Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP and IBT is represented by Crowell & Moring LLP in this transaction.

 

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