RD Biomed has today announced a Chinese distribution agreement for its reflux diagnostic tool Peptest.

The deal with Hong Kong-based investment and trading company MAAB International will see Peptest launched in China by 2016.

Peptest is the world’s first non-invasive diagnostic test for all forms of reflux disease. It measures the presence of the digestive enzyme pepsin in a clinical sample, such as saliva, which is a reliable marker for the reflux of gastric juice.

Under the exclusive three-year distribution agreement, MAAB International will be responsible for registering Peptest with Chinese regulatory body China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA), with an official launch estimated in 2016 once licencing has been finalised.

Research has shown reflux is increasing in prevalence in China, with approximately 120 million adults suffering from heartburn and reflux symptoms.

Through its partners in China, MAAB International has access to a nationwide network of sales and distribution channels giving it significant reach.

Professor Peter Dettmar, managing director of RD Biomed, said: “We’re delighted to sign a distribution agreement with MAAB International that will allow us to deliver the benefits of our Peptest screening tool to China.  This important deal represents Peptest’s first significant venture into Asia and it is hoped that the relationship with MAAB International will develop across other key countries in the region.”

“Diagnosing reflux disease can be an expensive, slow and painful process, but Peptest can prevent unnecessary referral to invasive diagnostic tests such as an endoscopy or 24-hour pH monitoring and stop unnecessary prescription of drugs such as PPIs to patients not requiring them.”

Alex Lou, managing director at MAAB International, said: “We are honoured and excited to work with RDBiomed to bring Peptest into China. As the world’s first non-invasive test for reflux disease, Peptest will help bring benefits for patients as well as enable medical professionals to make a diagnosis quickly and accurately.”

“There is a massive population in this market that is exposed to a risk of developing reflux and Peptest acts as an important bridge between a subjective assessment based on symptoms and a very painful examination experience of undergoing esophageal pH monitoring or gastrointestinal endoscopy.”

Peptest is currently distributed in Italy and Western Europe, Taiwan, Central and Eastern Europe and Turkey.