Biohit to strengthen its GastroPanel distribution in China - new partner Hefei Medicine

Biohit Oyj May 16, 2013 at 3 P.M. (EET)

 

Biohit Oyj has signed a distribution agreement with Hefei Medicine to strengthen the sales and marketing of GastroPanel in China. The agreement covers the distribution and marketing of Biohit’s diagnostic products in China. Biohit’s previously appointed distributor will continue to distribute GastroPanel during the transition period.

General Manager Feng Liu, Hefei Medicine Co., Ltd.: “GastroPanel is very effective and useful stomach function test for our Chinese customer potential. GastroPanel enables a significant and important new direction in China for preventive medicine. Old Chinese wisdom says that intelligent people do not only treat symptoms, but also focus on prevention.”

CEO Semi Korpela, Biohit Oyj: “This distribution agreement broadens and deepens Biohit presence in China. We also agree with the old Chinese wisdom.”

 

Additional information:

CEO Semi Korpela, Biohit Oyj
Tel. +358 9 773 861
semi.korpela@biohit.fi
www.biohithealthcare.com

 

Biohit in brief

Biohit Oyj is a globally operating Finnish biotechnology company established in 1988. Biohit's mission is "Innovating for Health". The purpose of the company is to take social responsibility and produce innovation, new technologies and analysis systems for use in medicine, research institutions and industry, helping to promote research and diagnostics and to improve the quality of life of people by means of preventing disease, human suffering and financial loss. We are committed to social responsibility and it is our duty to spread knowledge about the Group 1 human carcinogen, acetaldehyde, and innovate and develop the marketing and availability of our products and services. Biohit is headquartered in Helsinki and its subsidiaries are located in China, Italy and the United Kingdom. Since 1999, Biohit's Series B shares (BIOBV) have been listed in the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Oy Small cap/Healthcare sector.

 

Hefei Medicine in brief

Hefei Medicine Co. Is a medicine business trading with deep experience in medical distribution to Chinese hospitals. In 2012, the company’s turnover was over 2 Billion RMB (250 million euro). The Company was established in 1995 and the company employs today more than 300 people. More information: www.sinamedicine.com

 

Additional information about the GastroPanel examination:

Biohit Oyj has developed the GastroPanel biomarker tests, a unique blood sample examination for the screening and diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection and damage or dysfunction of the mucous membrane (atrophic gastritis) of the stomach. Unlike the H. pylori examinations still being used (13C urea breath test and stool antigen test), the GastroPanel tests reliably detect the H. pylori infection, the typically asymptomatic condition atrophic gastritis, and associated risks, including cancer.

The April 2012 Maastricht IV consensus report of the European Helicobacter Pylori Study Group recommends blood sample biomarker tests as a reliable method of diagnosis of diseases of the stomach mucosa and associated risk conditions. Researchers recommend biomarker tests for the diagnosis and follow-up of Helicobacter pylori infection and especially for atrophic gastritis that causes achlorhydric stomachs, as well as to the screening of asymptomatic patients. The report emphasises the fact that H. Pylori eradication therapy does not cure precancerous gastric conditions. This is why gastroscopy and biopsy examinations are recommended at regular intervals of 2-3 years for patients with moderately severe or severe atrophic gastritis. Without gastroscopy and biopsy examination, atrophic gastritis in the entire stomach (precancerous condition) and its location can only be diagnosed with a GastroPanel biomarker test.

The international Healthy Stomach Initiative group's 16 gastroenterology experts from 12 countries came to the same conclusions. Biomarker tests can be used to diagnose and screen atrophic gastritis and related risks in both asymptomatic patients and patients with abdominal discomfort (www.biohithealthcare.com: Investors/ Stock Exchange Releases: 17/02/2012 Biohit Oyj’s GastroPanel biomarker test recommended). According to the taskforce, GastroPanel biomarker tests, unlike the Helicobacter pylori examination tests still in use, reliably diagnose the most significant risk conditions of the acid-free stomach (atrophic gastritis). With the help of the GastroPanel test, patients can be referred to appropriate further examinations, therapy and treatment. At the same time it is also possible to reliably diagnose patients who have a “healthy” stomach, i.e. patients who do not have H. pylori infection and/or atrophic gastritis.

An IARC (WHO agency on cancer research) classification of October 2009 states that acetaldehyde in alcoholic beverages and naturally generated in alcohol is a group 1 carcinogen and is therefore as carcinogenic as H. pylori, asbestos, formaldehyde and benzene. GastroPanel biomarker tests reliably detect an anacidic stomach which is the major risk factor of gastric cancer. In addition, recent studies show that acetaldehyde generated in an anacidic stomach significantly increases gastric and oesophageal cancer risks associated with the condition. Microbes from the mouth can colonise an acid-free stomach and produce carcinogenic acetaldehyde from sugar and alcohol. According to gene studies this is one of the major risk factors of gastric and oesophageal cancer. The risk can be reduced with the help of another Finnish innovation - prescription-free Acetium capsules, which are taken during food and alcohol consumption, to bind (neutralise) carcinogenic acetaldehyde in the stomach.

 

Literature:

1. Malfertheiner P et al. Management of Helicobacter pylori infection--the Maastricht IV/ Florence Consensus Report. http://gut.bmj.com on May 18, 2012. European H. pylori Study Group, ESPSG.
2. Agréus L et al. Rationale in diagnosis and screening of atrophic gastritis with stomach-specific plasma biomarkers. Scand J Gastroenterol 2012;47:136-47.
3. World Health Organisation WHO, 2009. www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2009/pdfs/pr196_E.pdf.

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