LONDON and CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Sept. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Trimega Laboratories is implementing the world's first commercial project to diagnose and analyze Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in newborns.
Headquartered in Manchester, UK, and founded and led by South African entrepreneur Avi Lasarow, Trimega has partnered with Tripelo, a forensic science company in Cape Town, to conduct the tests. Tripelo will start conducting tests in November 2011 and has already identified communities where work will begin. South Africa has 4,000 new FAS cases reported yearly.
This initiative comes at a time when UK-South Africa trade relationships are entering a new phase. In June, the 9th UK-South Africa Bilateral Forum, hosted by Foreign Secretary William Hague, re-affirmed the commitment made during President Zuma's 2010 state visit to double bilateral trade between the countries by 2015.
Marius Fransman, South Africa's Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, said: "The Trimega/Tripelo partnership is a great example of how the UK and South Africa can work together to share technology and expertise and provide a world-class initiative to fight a global problem."
Bathabile Dlamini, the South African Minister of Social Development, said: "We are delighted that Trimega has partnered with Tripelo to help provide a solution to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which affects so many newborn babies in South Africa."
Dr. Zola Skweyiya, the High Commissioner of South Africa in the UK, said: "I am very proud that under the leadership of South African CEO, Avi Lasarow, the company has set-up such an important scientific partnership between the UK and South Africa."
Avi Lasarow, CEO of Trimega Laboratories, said: "This is a real opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of thousands of babies impacted by alcohol abuse. We are proud to now play our part in making a contribution to the welfare of children in South Africa and to furthering the research into Fetal Alcohol Syndrome."
Trimega's technology tests meconium, the first stool sample of a newborn infant, thus improving the chances of early detection. Professor Fritz Pragst, a member of Trimega's Scientific Board, is a leading research scientist on alcohol testing in meconium, and has successfully applied Trimega's technology at the Canadian Hospital for Sick Children.
SOURCE Trimega Laboratories