LONDON, December 17 /PRNewswire/ --

- Concateno Solutions are First to be Licensed for On-site Drug Testing in Indian Market

Concateno plc, Europe's largest provider of drug and alcohol testing programmes, has today announced an exclusive arrangement with Merck Specialities Private Limited (Merck Specialities), the wholly-owned Indian subsidiary of Merck KGaA, to launch and market its Cozart products for on-site drug testing into the Indian market. This represents a first for India, which currently does not use road-side testing for drugs of abuse to enforce anti-drug driving legislation.

The arrangement comes as Concateno's Cozart product line became the first possible solutions for roadside testing for Drugs of Abuse to be licensed by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), the country's central body for the authorisation of new drugs. The Cozart line, which will be exclusively distributed by Merck Specialities in India, includes the Cozart(R) Drug Detection System (DDS(R)), the fastest, most reliable drug testing instrument currently available worldwide. Cozart(R) DDS(R) is an enhanced on-site saliva drug detection system that can take a sample within 30 seconds, and reveal the presence of up to six different drugs, including heroin and crack/cocaine, in under five minutes. Currently, the limited amount of drug testing conducted in India is mainly carried out by forensic or research laboratories.

Our association with Concateno places both companies in a very strong position to bring ground-breaking testing technologies to India. We believe that there is a strong need for advanced solutions in this area, said Aman Bhattacharjee, Director, Merck Specialities Private Limited. Media and public awareness of the problems of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs is at an all time high, and there is a considerable demand to step up enforcement capabilities. Implementing products such as DDS will give the Indian Traffic Police a powerful method of detection and serve as a powerful deterrent, revolutionising drug abuse testing at the roadside.

As per the understanding, Concateno products will be distributed by Merck Specialities' Diagnostics division, which caters to the requirements of pathology laboratories throughout India in the fields of Clinical Chemistry, Haematology, and Immunology. Established in 1990, the Diagnostics division of Merck Specialities has built a considerable presence in the Indian market, with significant sales, distribution and customer support capability.

Fiona Begley, Concateno chief executive officer, said: Merck Specialities and Concateno are a perfect fit - we offer the depth of experience in testing for drugs of abuse, while they have an established and successful operation that addresses the specific needs of the Indian market with a customer base and product and service offering that is highly complementary.

An introduction to Concateno

Concateno ( brings together the leading drug and alcohol testing organisations in Europe to form a global first in the field: a service provider with the facilities and expertise to genuinely deliver test programmes to meet any requirement - from point-of-care instant tests, through to state-of-the-art laboratory analysis for any biological specimen including urine, oral fluids, hair and sweat.

Concateno's 300 staff support more than 8,000 customers globally, and the group performs approximately eight million tests annually. An integrated network of more than 500 sample collection officers, trained in-house in chain-of-custody procedures, supports clients around the world.

Committed to the highest levels of accreditation and quality assurance, Concateno works actively within the industry to improve existing best practice. This includes ISO 17025 (independently audited by UKAS), ISO9001:2000, Link-Up, and ISO13485:2003. In addition, the company is subject to a range of external and internal quality assurance programmes.

Our strategy

Concateno's goal is to be the top provider of drug and alcohol testing services in the world, providing the best expertise and testing resources in the field. With our own best-in-class products and facilities that can supply across the whole range of test requirements, our strategy is driven by customer need rather than product benefit.

Concateno has committed significant investment to research and development. Our joint development agreement with Philips (a diversified health and wellbeing company) to develop a new oral fluids system is an example of this commitment.

Excellent pedigree

Concateno is built upon the consolidation of Europe's strongest and most expert drug testing companies:

Cozart: long-established expertise in oral fluid instant testing (including its pioneering Rapiscan(R) and DDS(R) reader devices) and the manufacture of laboratory Reagents and products - largely through its wholly-owned subsidiary Spinreact, headquartered in Spain.

Medscreen: Europe's most experienced workplace testing company with a 20 year track record in providing legally defensible urine testing to employees and the UK government

Altrix Healthcare: largest provider of oral fluids drugs of abuse laboratory testing to the UK healthcare market. Complemented with a blood-borne virus testing service and range of support services focused on client treatment needs

TrichoTech: Europe's largest hair testing laboratory with unrivalled knowledge and expertise

Euromed: supplies a comprehensive range of point-of-collection testing devices with a proven track record on quality assurance and technical support, underscored by its long-standing contract with HM Prison Service

For more information regarding Concateno, please contact: Adrian Brophy or Carrie Lowe, Telephone: +44(0)1962-893-893, Mobile: +44(0)7590-572-405 / +44(0)7956-408-121, Email: /