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BW Businessworld

Farewell To The Slide

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The $7.8-billion US-based medical technology major Becton Dickinson (BD), is in the final stages of developing a new technology for diagnosing tuberculosis (TB), which kills 300,000 Indians every year. The commonly adopted method is to manually check a slide sample under a microscope. "We have developed a Micro Imager where, instead of slides, the (bio) sample can be placed on acredit card-sized cartridge and put into the instrument, and within minutes it will print the result, with about 85 per cent success. It is undergoing clinical trials and we hope to launch it by the end of 2013," says Tom Polen, global head of diagnostic systems at BD.  

"There are about 17 million TB slide-based tests done in a year (in India). But conventional methods' sensitivity is 45-50 per cent; so you are missing half the number of TB patients."

BD also plans to introduce a molecular diagnostic platform, BD Max, in India for 20 different tests for illnesses such as TB, meningitis, sexually transmitted diseases as well as for many bacterial infections. Cervical cancer diagnosticsis also a focus area for BD in India.

The company's combined (medical technology,diagnostics and bioscience businesses) annual revenues from India are about $115 million, with diagnostics at $25 million.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 04-06-2012)