Aptima® HIV-1 Quant Dx Assay Awarded World Health Organization Prequalification

MARLBOROUGH, Massachusetts, Jan. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Hologic, Inc. (Nasdaq: HOLX) announced today that its CE-marked Aptima® HIV-1 Quant Dx assay has been awarded World Health Organization (WHO) prequalification for in vitro diagnostics.

The Aptima HIV-1 Quant Dx assay, employing Hologic’s proprietary real-time transcription-mediated amplification (TMA) technology, is the first HIV-1 viral load assay with a dual claim for both diagnosis and treatment monitoring. The assay runs on Hologic’s Panther® system, a market-leading, integrated platform that fully automates testing, from sample to result. The system substantially reduces hands-on time for laboratories by providing random and continuous access with rapid turnaround time.

The WHO prequalification means that the Aptima HIV-1 Quant Dx assay meets WHO standards of quality, safety, performance and reliability, and allows global health organizations to consider the Aptima HIV-1 Quant Dx assay for public sector procurement in resource-limited countries.

“This milestone highlights Hologic’s commitment to, and progress toward, advancing the fight against HIV in highly affected regions of the world,” said Tom West, President, Diagnostic Solutions Division at Hologic. “Access to advanced HIV testing platforms is crucial to managing care and mitigating the spread of the disease in low- and middle- income countries.”

There are 36.7 million people living with HIV globally, with East and Southern Africa bearing the largest number of infected individuals – 19.4 million. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 64% of all new HIV infections.1,2

“Hologic has an impressive legacy in the virology space that started two decades ago with the development of nucleic acid tests to screen the blood supply, and qualitative assays for HIV and HCV in the early 2000’s,” said West. “We leveraged this expertise to develop an innovative and fully automated HIV viral load assay on our Panther instrument that is well suited for laboratories in resource-limited settings. Hologic looks forward to joining the battle to reduce the burden of this global epidemic.”

About the Aptima HIV-1 Quant Dx Assay

The Hologic Aptima HIV-1 Quant Dx assay is designed to meet today’s demands for HIV diagnosis and treatment monitoring. The new assay uses a dual target approach against highly conserved regions in the HIV-1 genome, a sophisticated primer design, and redundancy of oligonucleotides for protection against mutations, thereby helping ensure accurate detection and quantitation of HIV-1. The assay is designed to deliver both sensitivity and precision across a broad set of HIV-1 groups and subtypes. Laboratories can now have greater confidence in assay performance, despite drug selection pressures and growing genetic diversity.

About Hologic

Hologic, Inc. is an innovative medical technology company primarily focused on improving women’s health and well-being through early detection and treatment. For more information on Hologic, visit www.hologic.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking information that involves risks and uncertainties, including statements about the use of Hologic’s diagnostic products. There can be no assurance these products will achieve the benefits described herein or that such benefits will be replicated in any particular manner with respect to an individual patient. The actual effect of the use of the products can only be determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the particular circumstances and patient in question. In addition, there can be no assurance that these products will be commercially successful or achieve any expected level of sales. Hologic expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statements presented herein to reflect any change in expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements are based.

Hologic, The Science of Sure, Aptima and Panther are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Hologic, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries.

Investor Contact:
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1 https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/statistics.html
2 https://www.avert.org/professionals/hiv-around-world/sub-saharan-africa/overview

CSA Global and Whittle Consulting announce partnership agreement

LONDON and CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Jan. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — CSA Global and Whittle Consulting are pleased to announce a partnership agreement to collaborate efforts to offer Integrated Strategic Planning services in and around the United Kingdom, Europe, and West Africa.

This builds on the existing strong relationship the companies have developed over many years working alongside each other on development projects and mining operations.

Managing Director, Jeff Elliott stated, “Our aim with formalising a partnership agreement is to provide greater integration and better analysis of the data inputs and assumptions that go into the optimisation of a mining project or operation, and use our combined capabilities and experience, along with that of our clients, to achieve superior technical and economic outcomes.”

Gerald Whittle, CEO of Whittle Consulting welcomed the partnership agreement: “With a shared vision for creating value for our clients, we are delighted to further our cooperation with CSA Global. Whittle Consulting’s structure and capability will enable us to operate efficiently in these regions and their technical skills will add to the accuracy, depth and relevance of the optimisation analysis.”

CSA Global Director for Europe and Africa, Galen White, added, “Our teams are excited to collaborate with Whittle Consulting and apply our extensive experience across geology, geometallurgy, mining and strategic planning to assist our clients to realise their growth potential.”

Whittle Consulting’s approach to Integrated Strategic Planning involves applying Activity Based Costing and Theory of Constraints to build a complete Enterprise Optimisation model of a mining business, from ore body, through mining and processing, to the market and financial model.

About CSA Global
CSA Global is a mining, geological, technology, and management consulting company providing strategic services and advice to companies to the international mining industry. CSA Global services mining clients worldwide from its offices in Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Canada. For more information: http://www.csaglobal.com/

Media Enquiries:
Magda Fimmano |  Marketing and Communications Manager |  CSA Global Pty Ltd
E: magda.fimmano@csaglobal.com
M: +61 (0) 406 383 203

Government to create 10,000 jobs through greenhouse projects

Accra, The Government through the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) will create 10,000 jobs over the next four years through the establishment of 1,000 greenhouse projects nationwide.

Mr Franklin Owusu-Karikari, the Chief Executive Officer, NEIP, said the project was part of government’s effort to create jobs for the youth and to increase food production.

He expressed the hope that about 3,000 people would be employed under the greenhouse project this year.

Mr Owusu-Karikari said this on Tuesday in Accra in his presentation at the 69th Annual New Year School and Conference (ANYSC).

Mr Owusu-Karikari noted that, the project, which would create 10,000 direct jobs; 10 sustainable jobs per dome, would also create 4,000 indirect sustainable jobs through producing raw materials and installation of greenhouse domes.

He also mentioned the transfer of skills and new technology in fruits and vegetable production and improved standards in farming and marketing of fruits and vegetables.

A greenhouse is a structure where crops such as tomato, green beans and sweet pepper are grown under controlled micro environment.

This method is used to protect the plants from adverse climatic condition such as cold, wind, precipitation, excessive radiation, extreme temperature, insects and disease.

In greenhouse technology, the environmental conditions are modified using greenhouse so that one can grow any plant in any place at any time by providing suitable environmental conditions with less labour.

He said the project was a deliberate and ambitious approach to farm fruits and vegetables in a controlled environment; adding that, it is a farm activity laced with technology, not dependent on rain but with amazing financial rewards.

He said the greenhouse project had high impact in the sustainable jobs space and there was already an off-take from several companies both local and abroad.

Mr Owusu-Karikari said the project beneficiaries would be trained for two years in its management before it would be handed over to them; stating that, so far 75 greenhouse domes had been constructed at Dawhyenya in the Greater Accra Region.

The NEIP is a flagship policy initiative of the government of Ghana with the primary objective of providing an integrated national support for start-ups and small businesses.

He said NEIP primarily focused on providing business development services; startup incubators and funding for young businesses to enable them to grow and become successful.

He noted that the ultimate aim of NEIP was to enable entrepreneurs to empower innovation and accelerate job creation for Ghana’s teeming unemployed youth.

Mr Owusu-Karikari said the National Entrepreneurship and Innovations Fund was dedicated to youth in entrepreneurship.

He noted that the fund was a Special Purpose Vehicle to fund Young businesses as they could not access funding from banks and other financial institutions.

The ANYSC, which is being organised by the School of Continuing and Distance Education (SCDE) of the College of Education, University of Ghana is on the theme Job Creation for Accelerated National Development: The Role of the Private Sector.

The annual event provides a platform for a dispassionate discussion of important issues of national and international concern.

The week-long event, which was officially opened by Vice President Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, is under the auspices of Komos Energy, Vodafone Ghana, Goil, Voltic, Daily Graphic, Prudential Bank and the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), University of Ghana.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Legon PRESEC student wins UBA fourth essay competition

Accra, Mr Jason Emmanuel Kuuku Asante Ghansah, a form two student of Presbyterian Boy’s Senior High School, Legon, in the Greater Accra Region, emerged winner of this year’s UBA Foundation National Essay Competition.

Mame Ekua Anokyewaah Antwi Appiah from Wesley Girls’ Senior High School in the Central Region was the first runner up while Miss Yasmeen Kwaley Quartey, also from Wesley Girls’ Senior High School placed third.

Mr Ghansah was presented with a trophy and an amount of $5,000 educational grant to further his tertiary education while Miss Appiah received a plaque and $3,500 with Miss Quartey also receiving a plaque and an amount of $2,000.

The three winners were selected from 12 finalists out of thousands of applications from second cycle schools, after going through competitive selection procedures.

Each of the 12 participants was given a UBA branded HP Laptop and a certificate.

The students wrote on the topic: Galamsey or illegal Mining has been a menace to the Ghanaian society causing ill effects, as a student, what ways or methods do you suggest can curb this societal problem?’.

Speaking at the ceremony in Accra, Mrs Abiola Bawuah, the Managing Director of UBA Ghana, said the Bank in October 2017, launched the Fourth edition of the competition for Senior High School students, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility.

She said the competition, which was launched in 2014, provided a competitive platform to develop the intellectual and writing abilities of Senior High Schools students in Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal.

Mrs Bawuah said the competition had so far produced nine winners, some of whom are studying in various universities in the country.

She congratulated all 12 finalists for competing in the programme, adding that, the Bank was committed to the development of the country’s education because the future of Africa was in the hands of the youth.

Mrs Bawuah called on the media to duly publicize the initiative to ensure that students in the country get the opportunity to be part of the competition.

Mrs Angela Tena Mensah, Director in charge of Secondary Education, Ghana Education Service, commended UBA Ghana for initiating the competition to exhibit the talents of the youth.

She said the topic for the competition was timely because it contributed to ideas in solving the menace of illegal mining activities that confronted the nation.

Dr Jemima Anderson, one of the Judges of the Competition and the Head of English Department, University of Ghana, Legon, said the selection procedures were challenging but genuine.

She said there were equally good applicants for the competition but they had to select only 12, adding that the scripts were marked religiously since every script went through plagiarism and checked language expression, originality of content, grammar and organization.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Government to halt smuggling of gold in diplomatic bags

Accra, Mr John Peter Amewu, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, has disclosed that the Government would soon recruit companies to undertake operational and fiscal audits of the mining value chain to generate revenue for the country.

He said the move had become necessary because Ghana was suspected to be losing huge sums of money from the mining outputs through smuggling of gold in diplomatic bags and under-declaration of costs and tax after profits by some multinational companies.

He said companies from the United States, Australia and Israel had shown interest and government would soon recruit them to undertake auditing of the mining sector.

Mr Amewu made this known when two ministers from Denmark; Mr Kaister Laontzer, the Minister of Taxation, and Madam Ulla Tornos, the Minister of Development Co-operation, paid a working visit to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources in Accra, on Tuesday.

The meeting is aimed at enhancing the bilateral co-operation between the two countries that would be mutually beneficial.

Mr Amewu said for instance, some multinational mining firms undertake transfer-pricing where they jumped from one country to another looking for treaty-shopping, which enabled them to escape payment of taxes to the natural-rich resource host countries.

Treaty-shopping is the practice of structuring a multinational business to take advantage of more favourable tax treaties available in certain jurisdictions or countries.

Mr Amewu said: Though we may have the legal framework on paper, some of those multinational companies are clever and have the technical and legal competencies that played around the tax regime and avoid paying the required taxes to the detriment of the host countries.

In that regard, he said, government had decided to critically examine the value chain of the natural resource exploitation, especially the downstream linkages, and strategise the best option to reap the maximum benefit.

He said government had rolled out the National Supply Development Programme, which was a conscious effort to addressing the concerns of all the suppliers along the downstream sections of the mining sector so that the country would reap the needed benefit.

The programme is in collaboration with the African Mining Development Centre, which is an aspect of the African Mining Vision to ensure that African countries benefit from their natural resources.

The Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo led government, for instance, is determined to ensuring that bauxite is refined here under the Integrated Aluminium Industry instead of exporting them raw, he said.

Mr Amewu said government had instituted measures to enter into downstream activities in the extractive sector that would fetch the country additional revenues.

He said it had also instituted measures to increase tax collection and add value to the natural resources so as to ramp up the required income for the nation.

I think exporting the mineral resources in their raw state has not been a blessing to Ghana, considering the level of depletion of the resources in relation to the benefit accrued to the nation, he said.

Mr Amewu said Ghana had a long-standing bilateral co-operation with Denmark and would work to ensure the relationship mutually benefitted both countries.

Madam Ulla Tornos, the Danish Minister of Development Co-operation, said Denmark, through the Danish International Development Agency,

had implemented a number of development projects in Ghana.

She said the Danish Government was in the process of improving the co-operation from aid to trade, adding that Denmark would re-structure its payment of taxes to Ghana, especially in the area of natural resources.

Source: Ghana News Agency