Merck is planning to launch its Muse Auto CD4/CD4% System, a portable instrument for monitoring the progression of the HIV/AIDS virus, throughout Africa. By Staff Writer
The portable device has received regulatory approval in Nigeria, Cote d’lvoire, Cameroon and Angola, and is pending in South Africa.
Of the more than 35 million people infected with HIV worldwide, 25 million live in Africa alone – and only 19 million are aware of their status, according to a 2014 UNAIDS report. Many patients in this part of the world, particularly those in rural areas, lack access to regular medical care. Treatment is often hindered by the long distances from the patient’s village to the nearest hospital or clinic.
“Through the launch of the Muse CD4/CD4% system, we are enabling health professionals in Africa to more effectively respond to the health care needs of their patients and make progress towards the treatment, cure, and prevention of HIV/AIDS,” said Udit Batra, president and CEO of Merck’s life science business.
For people infected with HIV, CD4 cells provide an indication of the disease’s progression. In the course of an HIV infection, CD4 cells indicate the state of the immune system and act as markers for T cell lymphocytes. Patients with a low count of these cells in their blood are at increased risk of opportunistic infections.
Merck developed the Muse Auto CD4/CD4% system for rapid, simple and accurate monitoring of T cells in adults and children. The low-cost system is designed to be easily portable and operational with minimal training, making it the ideal solution for clinics serving patients living in remote areas.