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PerkinElmer helps Saudi Arabian hospital double newborn screening capacity

PerkinElmer : 13 September, 2007  (New Product)
The King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,
announced a multi-year agreement with PerkinElmer to support its expanded newborn screening programme.
PerkinElmer will provide instrumentation, reagents, software and screening expertise that will help the King Faisal Hospital double its screening capacity by the end of 2008. The contract, to be executed through PerkinElmer's regional distributor, HVD Vertriebs, will also expand the hospital's programme from screening for one disorder to a total of four disorders.

'We are pleased to partner with King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre to aid in the expansion of its newborn screening programme,' said Robert F Friel, president and chief operating officer, PerkinElmer. 'PerkinElmer is committed to supporting early detection programs worldwide with leading neonatal screening technology designed to identify infants at risk for devastating metabolic disorders, enabling early intervention and treatment to save lives and improve quality of life.'

Approximately 800,000 babies are born each year in Saudi Arabia, which has a population of about 27.6 million. The King Faisal Hospital is Saudi Arabia's leading provider of neonatal screening for genetic disorders, which allows for the early identification and treatment of otherwise debilitating or life threatening conditions and has become one of the most widely accepted procedures in preventative pediatrics. Through this expanded initiative with PerkinElmer, the King Faisal Hospital hopes to double its screening rate to 200,000 newborns by the end of 2008, and to 400,000 newborns by the end of 2009.

As part of this agreement, the King Faisal Hospital will use Specimen Gate, PerkinElmer's screening Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). This software will allow the hospital to implement a comprehensive solution that will electronically track laboratory workflow from sample receipt and preparation, through the analytical steps, to quality control review, reporting and follow-up.

PerkinElmer currently provides the King Faisal Hospital with reagents for screening congenital hypothyroidism (CH), which if left untreated can lead to severe mental retardation. Under the expanded program, which will begin in late 2007, three additional tests will be sourced from PerkinElmer including: congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), a hormonal disorder affecting the adrenal glands; Galactosemia, which if left untreated, can cause poor development or death; and biotinidase deficiency (BIOT), which can lead to seizures, developmental delay, eczema and hearing loss.

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