Hologic, Inc. has partnered with the Clinton Health Access Initiative and MedAccess, which is backed by the United Kingdom government, to increase access to affordable molecular testing for infectious diseases in nearly 50 nations, the partners announced today at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam.
“I think this is a great example of a major, global health company taking a look at the developing world and seeing how they can best make a difference,” Alan Staple, vice president of global markets for the Clinton Health Access Initiative, told Infectious Disease News. “The Clinton Health Access Initiative plays a role in creating business solutions that are sustainable for companies, like Hologic, that really meet the needs of populations in low-income countries.”
The Hologic Global Access Initiative will provide countries with affordable molecular diagnostics testing for HIV, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus and HPV, according to a news release. The countries eligible for the program, which are largely in Africa and Southeast Asia, comprise 90% of the global HIV burden.
Hologic said the initiative will supply molecular diagnostics tests through a single, all-inclusive pricing structure that will not require upfront costs or capital expenditure. As part of the pricing agreement with the Hologic Global Access Initiative, five resource-limited countries — Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe — will gain access to Hologic’s molecular diagnostic instrument, the Panther System, at $12 per patient sample.
The testing platform can be used by both large, centralized labs and small, decentralized labs. Staple said Hologic is responsible for maintaining and servicing the equipment. The partners said the Panther system is a cost-effective solution that will “generate faster results to patients and increase adherence to treatment.” According to the release, the system can deliver up to 320 results in 8 hours in a space less than 1 m2 of space. Additionally, it is compatible with four Aptima virology assays that not only test for HIV-1, HBV, HCV and HPV, but also allow clinicians to run multiple assays from one blood sample when coinfections are suspected.
The target of the UNAIDS’ 90-90-90 strategy is that, by 2020, 90% of people living with HIV will know their status, 90% of people diagnosed with HIV will receive ART and 90% of people receiving ART will experience viral suppression. According to the release, the Hologic Global Access Initiative not only supports this goal but also the objectives of the Unitaid-chaired Integrated Diagnostics Consortium, which include improving the efficiency of laboratory systems, reducing instrument downtime and minimizing stockouts and waste.
The program will help to significantly save costs when scaling up HIV viral load testing coverage and, ultimately, reduce the global burden infectious diseases.
“The goal is to bring world-class molecular testing technology to over 50 low and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America,” Staple said.
The Hologic Global Access Initiative is expected to launch in August 2018. – By Marley Ghizzone
Disclosures: Staple is vice president of global markets for the Clinton Health Access Initiative.