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By Chelli Miller

Response Biomedical (RPBIR.OB) has ushered in the new year with a bang, following the company's January announcement of a U.S. distribution deal -- the company's second distribution deal in 2013. Earlier in the month, Response Biomedical entered into a distribution agreement with U.S. hospital supplier Laboratory Supply Company to distribute its cardiovascular portfolio of RAMP® products to small hospitals. And last week, Response Biomedical announced a second U.S. distribution agreement -- the latest with Fishers Healthcare for their RAMP® flu A + B tests and RAMP® RSV test on the RAMP® 200.

The timing of Response Biomedical's growth could not be better. According to a recent report, "The World Market for Point-of-Care (POC) Diagnostics," authored by Sannes & Associates, the $17 billion point-of-care test market will see faster growth in 2013 than central lab testing.

Furthermore, population change and healthcare reform will bring significant growth to the U.S. healthcare ecosystem, as an estimated 30 million new people will enter the healthcare system over the next few years. This figure will only add to the development of the POC market, and the opportunities for Response Biomedical.

Response Biomedical develops, manufactures, and markets rapid on-site/point-of-care diagnostic tests for early detection of cardiac events and conditions, infectious disease (flu A& B, RSV), biodefense, and environmental indications. In 2011, Orbimed became a major shareholder and in 2012 a new management team was in place to develop and implement an aggressive turnaround strategy that is igniting new customer relationships and shareholders alike.

The company has achieved approximately $12 million in revenues, trailing 12 months through Q3 2012. It has increased sales YTD Q3 by 39% (YTD through Q3 012 vs. the same period in 2011) and increased gross margin from 19% to 36% (YTD through Q3 012 vs. the same period in 2011), with a $15 million market cap (U.S.).

The company's device and test distinctions include:

  • 15-minute point-of-care lab-quality results
  • Reads disease antigens-quantitative
  • Can diagnose/distinguish flu A or B, RSV
  • Cardiology, infectious diseases, biodefense, environmental indications
  • Eliminates interpretation errors
  • Easy-to-use, self-timed and self-calibrating reader
  • Stores test results
  • EMR data/results integration
  • The RAMP® system can also be adapted to more than 250 medical and non-medical tests

The demand for quantitative, lab-quality results at the point-of-care will be high in triaging the influx of new patients. The initial burden of this potential surge will be absorbed at the point of care where professionals will need faster, better, and more efficient diagnostic and treatment tools.

Hospitals will also benefit from point-of-care tools while costs cutting and efficiency demands continue to increase. A faster lab quality diagnosis can lead to more efficient and accurate treatment. Point-of-care testing is already attracting considerable investor and industry attention, and it is likely to continue as the U.S. healthcare landscape evolves.

Source: Response Biomedical - 2013 A Year For Point-Of-Care Diagnostics Growth