Novartis Diagnostics is present in Indonesia to work with Indonesian Red Cross to improve blood safety in Indonesia
Jakarta, 11 August 2011 Novartis Diagnostics today announces its presence in Indonesia to improve the joint commitment with Indonesian Red Cross (IRC) in improving blood safety in Indonesia. This commitment takes into the form of PROCLEIX® line of blood screening technology based on Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT) to test blood for HIV-1 and hepatitis viruses B and C. The presence of Novartis Diagnostics in the country follows the cooperation that has been agreed with IRC.
Novartis Diagnostics is pleased to be able to be present in Jakarta, said Srinivasan Madabushi, Head of Diagnostics, PT Novartis Indonesia. We believe this would bring Novartis Diagnostics and PMI closer in our cooperation, which can impact the lives of patients who need life-saving blood transfusions.
The cooperation between Novartis Diagnostics and PMI started when both parties signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was announced last January in Malang, East Java. The MoU reflects the IRC's vision to bring its blood transfusion safety standards on par with international standards as described by the World Health Organization (WHO). Following the cooperation, IRC equipped five of their blood centres across Indonesia with Novartis Diagnostics NAT technology. Novartis Diagnostics also trained IRC's laboratory technicians and provide technical support for blood screening systems.
Supplying safe blood should become the concern of many parties related to health since it is the main component needed in every health practice, said Dr. Farid Husein, Committee Head for Blood Donation and Health of Indonesian Red Cross who also attended the ceremony. He added, The presence of Novartis Diagnosticsin Indonesia would make it easier for both parties to make blood transfusions safer for patients.
The five blood centers in Indonesia are equipped with Novartis' PROCLEIX® ULTRIO® Assay to screen each unit of donated blood for HIV-1 (HIV, the virus that causes AIDS) and Hepatitis viruses B and C. The testing will be done on the fully integrated and automated PROCLEIX® TIGRIS® system, which simplifies workflow and improves efficiency in the lab.
The Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT) technology used in PROCLEIX ULTRIO Assay is a highly sensitive technology which can detect very small amounts of virus circulating in the blood, enabling detection of early stage and chronic infections that other technologies might miss. The enhanced sensitivity and specificity of NAT shortens the time between infection and when detection of that infection is possible. For example, with serology tests, it takes about two months after infection for anti-HCV antibodies to be detected, while NAT testing can detect HCV RNA in about 5 days.
About Novartis Diagnostics
Novartis Diagnostics, headquartered in Emeryville, California, is a global leader in blood safety, a position built on more than 20 years of scientific excellence, ongoing innovation, and collaboration with our development partners in blood transfusion. Dedicated to preventing the spread of infectious diseases through the development of novel blood-screening tools, our portfolio of automated, highly sensitive nucleic-acid testing (NAT) products allow for earlier detection of active HIV-1, Hepatitis B virus, Hepatitis C virus, and West Nile virus infections in donated blood, providing an important complement to traditional serology testing. The Novartis PROCLEIX systems, developed in collaboration with our partners Gen-Probe, are used by blood banks in 38 countries and are currently used to test more than 80 percent of the U.S. blood supply.
About the Indonesian Red Cross
Indonesian Red Cross (Palang Merah Indonesia/PMI) is an independent and neutral organization focusing on humanitarian efforts. PMI's main mandate is to ease people's burden by organizing disaster response and first aid. In doing its missions, PMI upholds seven values reflected by International Red Cross and Red Crescent, namely: humanitarian, voluntarism, neutrality, equality, independence, unity, and global. PMI puts its recent priorities on blood donation drives, disaster reliefs, and preventive measures. Currently PMI has its branches in 33 provinces, with 408 sub-branches at district level and 120 thousand volunteers across Indonesia. www.pmi.or.id.
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