Roche has expanded its Global Access Program to include diagnostics tests for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), hepatitis B and C (HBV and HCV) and human papillomavirus (HPV).

The company initially launched the programme in 2014 to improve access to HIV diagnostics and recently added a CE-Marked plasma sample collection device called cobas Plasma Separation Card.

The Global Access Program aims to offer increased access to diagnostics at affordable prices in countries with a high rate of disease.

With this expansion, the initiative now offers molecular diagnostics to detect HIV-1 viral load, HIV-1 and HIV-2 early infant diagnosis, the cobas Plasma Separation Card, MTB and MTB – RIF/INH, HBV, HCV and HPV.

All tests can be run on the company’s cobas 4800/6800/8800 platforms using the cobas Plasma Separation Card, which transports samples from remote areas to the central lab for processing.

Roche Diagnostics CEO Michael Heuer said: “With effective treatment options for these infectious agents and improved patients access to diagnostics, early detection can help save lives and ease suffering.

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“As the leader in infectious disease diagnosis testing, Roche is dedicated to supporting goals on eradicating diseases globally.”

World Health Organization (WHO) data shows that more than 36 million people are living with HIV globally, while 1.7 billion people are suffering from MTB infections.

Viral hepatitis, which is responsible for more than 1.34 million deaths worldwide each year, is known to be prevalent in low and middle-income countries.

Every year, around 570,000 new cases of cervical cancer and 311,000 deaths are reported. HPV is known to cause nearly all cases of this cancer.

Roche believes that enhanced access to screening will allow early detection and prevention of transmission of these diseases.