British International Investment
15 November 2021

Our partner MedAccess announces agreement to increase availability of low-cost syphilis and HIV test

MedAccess – a healthcare-focused social finance company set up by CDC – and its partners, the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and SD Biosensor today announced a partnership to significantly increase access to innovative combined rapid testing for syphilis and HIV.

SD Biosensor’s STANDARD Q HIV/Syphilis Combo test will now be the first World Health Organization (WHO) prequalified combination HIV/syphilis test available for under $1 for public sector purchasers in low- and middle-income countries.

The point-of-care rapid diagnostic test enables simultaneous diagnosis of both syphilis and HIV in under 20 minutes from a single finger-prick sample. Pregnant women with a confirmed diagnosis can start treatment more quickly, protecting both their health and their unborn child. Each year, more than 210,000 stillbirths or newborn deaths are caused by congenital syphilis, which could be prevented if the mother is tested and treated in time.

The partnership, made possible by a volume guarantee agreement between MedAccess and SD Biosensor, enables the South Korean diagnostics company to offer a price reduction of over 32 percent, making STANDARD Q the lowest priced WHO prequalified dual HIV/syphilis test on the market. This new price can contribute to bridging the gap of more than 6 million pregnant women in the highest burden countries who know their HIV status but are currently not tested for syphilis.[1]

Michael Anderson, MedAccess CEO, added: “Syphilis brings devastation to thousands of women and their families, turning what should be a time of joy into one of deep despair. Through this partnership, SD Biosensor is leading the way on increasing access to innovative dual testing, helping to protect women and children from the lifechanging effects of both HIV and syphilis. This is the clearest possible example of how innovative finance can reduce costs and increase access to essential diagnostics, which remains a critical healthcare gap, with almost half of the global population still having little to no access to quality diagnostics[2].”

Read the full announcement on MedAccess’ website here.

[1] Based on the 10 LMICs (excluding India) with the highest number of pregnancies with active syphilis (Indonesia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Uganda, Nigeria, Mal, Tanzania, Angola, Ethiopia, and Madagascar).


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