Medtech firm genedrive PLC (LON:GDR) has signed a distribution agreement with Sysmex Corporation, a world leader in clinical laboratory systematisation and solutions.
The agreement is for the Genedrive hepatitis C virus (HCV) ID Kit and Genedrive platform in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region with an initial focus on Africa.
Genedrive is the Aim-listed company's flagship molecular diagnostic system.
Genedrive and Sysmex Europe expect to start targeting end users in decentralised laboratories in multiple countries in Africa in the next few months, with the rest of the EMEA region to follow.
The UK company will retain responsibility for product development, quality management and manufacturing while Sysmex subsidiary Sysmex Europe will be responsible for sales, marketing, customer support and distribution activities across the EMEA region.
The companies will focus on securing the required regulatory approvals in individual territories of Africa, and genedrive forecasts that sales interest will start to kick in during the 2017/18 financial year.
"We are very pleased to have Sysmex as our first commercial partner for our HCV test, and our agreement represents an important step to provide access to Genedrive across target countries in the African regions," said David Budd, chief executive officer of genedrive PLC.
Matthias Voelkel, Senior Executive Officer of Sysmex Europe GmbH, said: "We expect that providing healthcare professionals with a quick diagnostic result in a decentralised setting will allow them to further improve the management of Hepatitis C infections."
Shares in genedrive opened 2.9% higher at 35.5p.