Biomerica launches new patented test to identify individuals at risk of developing severe side effects from thiopurine drugs.
Irvine, California – Jan 31, 2012 -- Biomerica, Inc. (OTC BB: BMRA) announced that it has launched a new patented Thiopurine methyltransferase (TPMT) test to detect patients who are at risk of developing severe or fatal side effects if treated with the class of thiopurine drugs that includes azathioprine, mercaptopurine, and thioguanine.
Thiopurine drugs suppress the immune system and are used in the treatment of a wide range of diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, leukemia and lymphoma, autoimmune diseases and skin disorders such as psoriasis and severe eczema. They are also used to treat organ transplants patients. The most commonly used thiopurine drug is called azathioprine. It is estimated that one in every 300 people lacks TPMT, which is an enzyme that helps remove thiopurine drugs from the body when they are present. Individuals who lack the TPMT enzyme can become severely or fatally ill if treated with normal doses of thiopurine drugs because toxic levels of the drug accumulate.
“Currently the two main U.S. reference labs offering TMPT testing charge over $200 per sample. We expect that our test will allow any lab or hospital to lower what they charge for TPMT testing to less than $120 per sample, a 40% lower cost. Our test is the only simple test a hospital or laboratory can use to detect TPMT and therefore is less costly, reduces testing time and increases patient care,” said Zackary Irani, CEO of Biomerica. “While our new patented TPMT test offer many advantages in terms of costs and patient care it also offers highly accurate results compared to other methods.”
The new TPMT product is being launched internationally and will be sold in the U.S. only after FDA clearance.
About Biomerica (OTCBB: BMRA)
Biomerica, Inc. (www.biomerica.com) is a global biomedical company that develops, manufactures and markets advanced diagnostic products used at the point-of-care (in home and in physicians’ offices ) and in hospital/clinical laboratories for the early detection of medical conditions and diseases. The Company’s products are designed to enhance the health and well being of people, while reducing total healthcare costs. Biomerica primarily focuses on products for Diabetes, Gastrointestinal Disease and esoteric testing.
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