You might not realize it, but one of the major problems with treating HIV is that many people don't know they have it. In the United States, it's estimated that some 1.2 million have HIV in the United States--but nearly a third of those don't know it.
That's why OraSure
's novel HIV screening device, OraQuick Advance, has the potential for wide acceptance not only in the United States, but also in an international community that affects more than 40 million people worldwide.
The device, which the company unveiled in 2004, is as easy to use as a home pregnancy test and requires no blood drawing or needles or lab work--you get the test results in 20 minutes and can be used in non-clinical settings. The device has been so successful that OraSure is working with the FDA to develop an over-the-counter version of the device.
"Having a test out there that's available for people to get screened and test is critical," says VP of Marketing and Communications Ron Ticho. "Especially with therapies and treatments now available that enable people to live longer lives with this disease. And the earlier that one is detected to have HIV, the better their prognosis is long-term."
Using the same technology, which relies on oral fluid, plasma, or blood pricked from the finger, OraSure has submitted for FDA approval a device that can diagnose Hepatitis C and will target a market of 4 million people in the United States and more than 180 million worldwide.
"It's been a very exciting opportunity for us," says VP of Marketing and Communications Ron Ticho. "In terms of the Hepatitis C test, we are actually pursuing a parallel pathway to get our product approved both here in the U.S. as well as in Europe."
The Bethlehem-based company, which began as a client of Ben Franklin Technology Partners, has also recently launched a portable cryosurgery device for the removal of warts that is currently available at more than 4,500 Rite Aid stores. Source: Ron Ticho, VP of Marketing and Communications for OraSureWriter: John Davidson
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