US based Stason has agreed to buy at least one million of the syringes a year for supply to the named territories, replacing the Shanghai Kindly Enterprise Development group (KDL), whose distribution deal with Unilife has expired.
KDL will continue provide to provide assembly services for the product within China on a per order basis, although Stason has indicated “a preference to receive units… that are assembled at Unilife's” manufacturing facilities in Pennsylvania.
The syringe, which Unilife claims is the only one of its kind to allow the user to control the speed of needle retraction, is designed to minimise the risk of needle stick injuries and reuse.
And, while such issues are a concern worldwide, in a region like Asia with high HIV and HCV rates they are a particularly large problem according to Unilife CEO Alan Shortfall.
Shortfall explained that: “We believe there is a significant market opportunity for our safety syringes throughout the Asia-Pacific region… [where there is] a desire to use premium safety medical devices that can minimize the transmission of blood-borne pathogens.”
He also said that Unilife is “continuing to negotiate with other pharmaceutical and healthcare companies across the world for distribution rights for the Unitract,” but did not provide specific details of the discussions.”
Stason CEO Harry Fan was also upbeat about, commenting that” there are significant opportunities for pharmaceutical companies to gain a competitive market advantage by supplying their injectable drugs in kits containing the drug vial and units of the Unitract.”