Inverness Medical has entered into a distribution agreement with Epocal of Ottawa, Canada, to distribute its epoc blood analysis system for blood gas and electrolyte testing. The epoc (enterprise point of care) platform is a point-of-care analysis system which provides wireless bedside blood gas and electrolyte measurement testing solutions.

Utilizing easy to use, low-cost disposable Smart-Cards, the epoc system produces laboratory quality results in critical and acute care settings in about 30 seconds. The system received FDA 510(k) clearance in 2006 for marketing in the US and anticipates receiving CE marking in 2010.

Under the five year agreement, Inverness will utilize its global sales force to promote the use of this point-of-care system co-exclusively with Epocal in all geographies worldwide, except for Japan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka.

Inverness paid $20m to Epocal in connection with the entry into the distribution agreement, which provides that Epocal will supply to Inverness, at no charge, all of Inverness’ requirements for Epocal products and Inverness will pay to Epocal 50% of its revenues from the sale of Epocal products.

Separate from the distribution agreement, Inverness will work with Epocal in a collaboration to develop additional test menu content for the epoc testing platform, expanding Inverness’ portfolio of test platforms in the point-of-care market.