Axis-Shield eager to enter UK market with cold kit

A MAJOR international study into diagnosing the common cold is to help medical testing kit-maker Axis-Shield break into the UK market, according to the Dundee-based company's chief executive.

While the company has enjoyed success in selling its cold testing kits in Switzerland and northern Europe, chief executive Ian Gilham said there were a number of "resistant markets", including the UK, where the technology is unpopular.

But a new European Union study found that using such testing kits to tell whether a cold is caused by a bacteria or a virus had helped to cut the number of needless prescriptions, saving doctors money and helping to combat drug-resistant bugs.

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Antibiotics are given for bacterial problems, but not for those caused by viruses.

Gilham said: "The findings of this study bode well for Axis-Shield's business model and revenue stream as the use of testing in doctors' surgeries is further endorsed.

"We'll endeavour to increase the uptake of testing in primary care in hitherto resistant markets - including the UK - on the back of this important study."

Mike Mitchell, an analyst at Evolution, said: "While the results of the study do not obligate the use of Nycocard CRP (Axis-Shield's product], this is likely to be seen as strongly supportive evidence for this particular test."