THOROFARE, N.J.— Akers Biosciences Inc. has entered an agreement with First Check Diagnostics LLC to exclusively distribute its rapid cholesterol self-test in the United States under the First Check brand.
Akers Bio said its Tri-Cholesterol check test is the only rapid test that gives an estimate of a person’s total cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good cholesterol”) levels – in turn yielding an estimate of the individual’s low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad cholesterol”) level and making it an effective screening test for high cholesterol.
First Check products — which include drug and health tests — are sold at major retailers, including CVS Pharmacy, Rite Aid, Target, Kmart, Meijer, Giant Eagle, Stop & Shop, Giant and Shopko.
“We are extremely excited at Akers Bio about our new agreement with First Check,” stated John Gormally, chief executive officer of Akers Biosciences. “We believe our Tri-Cholesterol rapid manual test, coupled with the industry leader in near patient testing, creates a formidable force in the retail market segment. First Check has huge distribution into major U.S. drug stores, which could potentially lead to significant exposure for this product and a marked improvement in the quality of self-testing cholesterol levels.”
The disposable Tri-Cholesterol test uses a fingerstick to get a blood sample and provides a result in five minutes. Akers Bio said the test can be sold immediately over the counter in the United States, since it’s exempt from Food and Drug Administration approval. The company added that the test has three CE marks for the European Economic Area and a Health Canada approval.
Use of the Tri-Cholesterol test can help people know their cholesterol level and take steps to better manage it and lower their risk for heart disease and stroke, Akers Bio noted. Citing figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the company reported that 73.5 million U.S. adults (31.7%) have high “bad cholesterol,” and fewer than one in three has the condition under control.
“Being able to differentiate between a person’s ‘good cholesterol’ and their ‘bad cholesterol’ is the key to making over-the-counter, rapid self-testing for this condition truly meaningful,” stated Raymond Akers Jr., vice chairman of Akers Biosciences. “We developed the only test marketed in the USA with the capacity to achieve this, and we believe that is why First Check — a major force in rapid diagnostics — has chosen to start selling our test through their popular brand. We hope this is the start of a mutually beneficial relationship between First Check and Akers Bio that could even expand beyond cholesterol and into other areas of rapid testing.”
Waltham, Mass.-based First Check offers five home drug testing products — ranging from a marijuana test to a 12-panel test including five prescription drugs — and a home health test for cholesterol.