London, UK and Amsterdam, Netherlands – Concateno plc, Europe's largest provider of drug and alcohol testing programmes, and Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE:PHG, AEX:PHI) have today announced an innovative handheld drugs-of-abuse detection device.
Concateno-Philips pioneering system will make testing for drugs such as cocaine and heroin quicker, simpler and easier enabling immediate point-of-care drug test results, similar to current alcohol tests. Concateno and Philips will deliver the new solution to selected customers in the second half of 2009.
At launch, the Concateno-Philips handheld product will test five drug groups at the same time (cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, amphetamine and cannabis) in a single saliva sample. Total test time of the new device, from collection of sample to result, will be less than 90 seconds. This represents a significant advance on existing test times, which can take up to five times longer to complete. Other significant features of the test include its sensitivity and ease of use, which has been enhanced by the product's innovative cartridge design and data collection to ensure a reduction in the steps required to obtain results.
With drug abuse a growing issue in today's society, Concateno and Philips share a commitment to working with government, employers, healthcare and law professionals to help reduce the impact of this problem. Point-of-care testing is one initiative the two organisations are exploring, bringing together Concateno's expertise in the field of immunoassay development with Philips' revolutionary 'Magnotech' technology.
Point-of-care testing for drug screening is a test carried out beside or near to the individual being tested, immediately after they have provided a sample for detection. The benefits of point-of-care testing flow from having test results in a few minutes. The need for speed, multi-analytical testing, plus robustness and reliability of method are all central to effective testing.
“This enhanced run time and ease of use will make the new system ideal for worldwide roadside testing, as well as for the criminal justice sector, workplace testing markets and emergency room scenarios where a quick result is key to treatment,” said Fiona Begley, Concateno chief executive officer.
“We are convinced that the next generation point of care testing devices will cause paradigm shifts in the way diseases are diagnosed and in the way the abuse of drugs is tested, and this will have a positive impact on society,” said Marcel van Kasteel, VP of Philips and CEO of Philips Handheld Immunoassays. “The Concateno-Philips drug screening test will be the first product that features Philips' Magnotech technology, a new biosensor technology that uses magnetic nanoparticles to measure low concentrations of target molecules in blood and saliva.”