Written on the 13 October 2010 by Tom Reid


MEDIGARD Limited (MGZ) has received a huge boost in its prospects for distributing a second product into the United States following a patent approval in South Africa.

The publically-listed medical tech company’s 3ml retractable syringe has today been granted exclusive patent protection in the African republic until 2027.

CEO Peter Emery says South Africa is not a priority market and the approval ‘came out of the blue’, but the development bodes well for a successful application in the United States.

Medigard recently cracked the US market after signing a manufacturing and distribution deal for its innovative blood collection device (BCD).

Following a successful US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) application, the BCD distributor Outcome Solutions would have first rights to the retractable syringe.

“The BCD is the first Medigard product and is absolutely ready to go, whereas the 3ml retractable syringe is a little behind in development,” says Emery.

“But it is a key product and patent approval in South Africa is a positive indicator that the application will also be successful in other markets. We apply for patents on our products in multi-jurisdictions; it just so happens that South Africa was the first to approve it.”

While the priority won’t shift away from the United States, Emery says the approval furthers Medigard’s long-term prospects.

“It is a global plan and South Africa being a developed nation is a viable market for us,” he says.

“The rest of Africa is a more interesting market in that it’s less developed, but in great need of our retractable syringe product that stops the spread of Aids caused by reusing syringes.

“The big challenge however is that there is no money in these regions for manufacturing and distribution. For this type of product to work in all the African markets it would take the United Nations or a similar humanitarian group to provide the funding to get them to all the districts and villages.”

After launching a capital raising venture in the form of a shareholder rights issue, Medigard is still around $600,000 short of the $1.57 million required to get the first run of US manufacturing underway.

Emery says the company is exploring all avenues available to it in order to raise the additional funding.

Author: Tom Reid





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