Later this year, Texas food and drug retailer H-E-B plans to pilot a noninvasive skin cholesterol test from Miraculins Inc.

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H-E-B to pilot skin cholesterol test

July 24th, 2013

WINNIPEG, Manitoba – Later this year, Texas food and drug retailer H-E-B plans to pilot a noninvasive skin cholesterol test from Miraculins Inc.

Canada-based Miraculins said Wednesday that its PreVu Non-Invasive Skin Cholesterol Point of Care Test is slated to be rolled out to 20 H-E-B stores in the fourth quarter.

The pilot will mark the PreVu POC Tests debut in the United States.

After the phase one launch, H-E-B will have the option to expand PreVu testing to more store locations in 2014. Information on participating H-E-B store locations plus clinic dates and times for this year's pilot will be disclosed prior to the launch, according to Miraculins.

"The launch of PreVu into Texas and the United States is a very significant milestone for Miraculins, as well as a major step forward in the commercialization of the PreVu technology worldwide," Paul Moreau, vice president of sales and marketing for Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Miraculins, said in a statement. "We are very pleased that H-E-B, a leading supermarket/pharmacy chain with 340 stores in Texas and northern Mexico and more than 76,000 employees, wants to make the PreVu POC Test available to its eligible customers to help them better understand and manage their risk of coronary artery disease."

Currently, the PreVu skin cholesterol test is offered at all London Drugs stores in western Canada — where the diagnostic test made its drug store debut — and it's being piloted in eastern Canada by community pharmacy members of PharmaChoice, one of Canada's largest pharmacy networks.

PreVu measures skin cholesterol, which Miraculins said is a key biomarker in assessing risk of coronary artery disease. The painless, in vitro diagnostic test — which involves no blood draw or needles and no overnight fasting — is conducted on the palm of the hand in less than five minutes. The results are available immediately, which facilitates point-of-care consultation and discussion with patients about the next steps they can take to address their condition.

Skin cholesterol is the cholesterol that has been deposited and diffused into tissue, as opposed to freely circulating in the bloodstream, Miraculins reported, adding that the skin contains about 11% of all the cholesterol found in the body.

"With over 1.5 million heart attacks occurring in the United States each year, resulting in over 500,000 deaths, this phase one launch — leading to the potential of PreVu POC testing centers being located throughout H-E-B's network of stores — represents an important step towards realizing greater heart health education, risk assessment and prevention for Texans and all Americans at risk," Moreau stated.

Overall, H-E-B has 212 pharmacies in its 340 supermarkets in Texas and northern Mexico.