The Company has filed for a third patent relating to a multi-analyte immunoassay specifically designed for use by blood bank centers.
According to an article in the Medical Laboratory Observer, August 2000 (latest data available) Blood bank Centers of California, which represents 18 blood banks that handle 80 percent of the state's blood supply, reports total losses of nearly $33 million in three years. To help recoup some of the increased costs, the nonprofit Sacramento (with losses of $3 million over the same time period) Blood Center, which operates on a $35 million budget, has raised its price on a unit of blood twice in the past year. Although it now charges $100 per unit, the center spends about $105 per unit to collect, analyze and deliver the blood to users.
The center has equipment that can detect HIV and hepatitis B before the deadly viruses show up in normal blood tests. Use of the equipment to screen for hepatitis B has added $8 to the cost of a unit of blood; use of the equipment to.
Biomagnetics has designed a system that can test for all eight viruses, currently being screened for in each unit of blood, in a single assay, thus greatly reducing the cost to analyze incoming blood.
Nationally, blood banks screen 14 million units of blood annually for seven types of viruses for a total of 91 million tests per year.