Abbott Joins Clinton Health Access Initiative in Effort to Improve Infant Testing for HIV in Africa

ABBOTT PARK, Ill., Nov. 8, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Abbott (NYSE: ABT) and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) have joined forces to provide HIV testing to infants in all countries working in partnership with the CHAI.  A key focus of this cooperation will be sub-Saharan Africa, which the World Health Organization estimates to account for 90 percent of global HIV infections in children.

Under terms of the agreement, Abbott will supply its RealTime HIV-1 Qualitative test kits to healthcare facilities.  The test is currently available for research use only and is expected to be CE marked (Conformite Europeene) by January 2011.  Abbott will also offer the capability to collect and process samples using dried blood spots (DBS).  The use of DBS for specimen collection eliminates the need for refrigeration of specimens.

In addition to the supply of HIV tests and DBS sample collection for research use, Abbott is collaborating with CHAI to develop a "turn-key" laboratory solution, including training protocols on instruments that will be used to establish fully functioning molecular diagnostic laboratories in regions where such facilities do not currently exist.

"We're pleased to be collaborating with the CHAI in its proactive outreach effort to test infants in developing nations for HIV," said Stafford O'Kelly, head of Abbott's molecular diagnostics business.  "Accurate and accessible HIV testing, particularly for diagnosis of HIV/AIDS in infants less than 18 months of age, is essential for optimal management and treatment of the disease."

About Abbott Molecular

Abbott Molecular, abbottmolecular.com, is an emerging leader in molecular diagnostics - the analysis of DNA, RNA, and proteins at the molecular level.  Abbott Molecular's instruments and assays are used for early detection and diagnosis of disease, to influence the selection of appropriate therapies and as an aid in monitoring disease progression.

About Abbott

Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics.  The company employs nearly 90,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.

Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's Web site at www.abbott.com.

SOURCE Abbott

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