Asia expansion in full flow as NZ tech firm cracks Thai health market

Kiwi technology company announces approval for its second major export market in the space of a week.

A New Zealand technology company has announced approval for its second major export market in the space of a week, and will improve diagnosis of cervical cancer for millions of women in Thailand as a result.

TruScreen, a Kiwi business with a unique real time cervical cancer screening technology, has received approval from the Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA Thailand) to market their products in the Southeast Asian country.

The access to Thailand has swiftly followed TruScreen receiving Chinese Food And Drug Administration (CFDA) approval to market their device in China, a potentially NZ$1 billion per annum market, at the end of April.

With nearly 90 percent of cervical cancer deaths occurring in countries with low health resources, TruScreen CEO Martin Dillon says the approval will offer an ideal screening solution for issues faced by Thailand and the wider community of the ASEAN region, which includes Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and Cambodia.

“Thailand and the ASEAN Region as a whole is similar to China in that the lack of economic health resources means there is a lack of cytology and pathology labs, and trained cytologists and pathologists,” Dillon says.

“Secondly, patients are often unable to be followed up as they lose contact with clinics due to the time taken to analyse and report back the results of both Pap and HPV DNA testing.

“This means the screening is often wasted as the disease goes untreated."

TruScreen’s cervical cancer technology utilises a digital wand which is touched on the surface of the cervix to measure electrical and optical signals from the surrounding tissue to identify precancerous change, or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN).

It’s advantage is the ability to offer a simple ‘see and treat’ screening program, where the patient is screened, and if found to be suspected of having disease, triaged and treated immediately, eliminating the potential to lose contact while waiting for results.

“As a real time, objective, and laboratory-free device, TruScreen is a relatively inexpensive, clinically proven and easy to implement solution to these twin problems that ASEAN countries such as Thailand face in their attempts to prevent the loss of life from cervical cancer,” Dillon adds.

Dillon says the Thailand market is worth approximately NZ$50 million per annum, while the total potential ASEAN cervical cancer screening market is estimated at NZ$430 million per annum.

With the FDA Thailand approval, TruScreen will immediately begin marketing in the ASEAN region, building on distribution channels already established in the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam.

TruScreen currently has distribution contracts in 11 regions, including China, Latin America, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Russia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

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