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Fingerprint drug-testing firm grants North American distribution deal

1 May 2012 - Intelligent Fingerprinting Ltd, a UK-based company that has developed a prototype fingerprint drug-testing device, has announced an agreement with Dallas-based Smart Start Inc granting them exclusive North American marketing and distribution rights for Intelligent Fingerprinting’s drugs of abuse detection products.


Intelligent Fingerprinting is a spin-out company from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the distribution deal follows the recent announcement of a £2m investment in Intelligent Fingerprinting from a consortium of private US-based investors.


Download the full press release (pdf) or read on...


Smart Start is an industry leader in the USA for alcohol monitoring technology and the country’s leading provider of breath alcohol ignition interlock devices (BAIIDs) which prevent drivers from starting their vehicles if breath alcohol is detected.  Intelligent Fingerprinting’s prototype handheld fingerprint drug detection device uses a unique process to detect drug metabolites and other substances contained in fingerprints and enables mobile testing with instant results.  Smart Start expects to begin offering the new device in North America in early 2013, subject to regulatory approval.


“We are very pleased to announce our partnership with Intelligent Fingerprinting. Their unique, non-invasive drug-detection technology will revolutionise testing for drugs of abuse,” said Smart Start CEO Lamar Ball. “The potential roadside, criminal justice and workplace applications have natural synergies with our existing ignition interlock and alcohol monitoring business and we are eager to explore the opportunity.” added Ball.


The new hand-held device will enable testing of fingerprints for illegal drugs and other substances using disposable cartridges. The samples are quick and easy to collect and do not require special handling or biohazard precautions. “The imaging of the fingerprint provides a chain-of-evidence continuity that is almost impossible to cheat,” Mr. Ball noted.  “The potential uses for the device are wide ranging and cover testing in the workplace as well as screening drivers at the roadside for drug-driving impairment.”


Smart Start has formed a new subsidiary, Smart Sales Inc, to concentrate on marketing the products in North America.


Intelligent Fingerprinting’s Business Development Manager Paul Yates, added, “There has already been considerable worldwide interest in the use of the technology for testing within a wide range of applications, including criminal justice, forensic science, homeland security, as well as institutional testing at prisons and workplaces. But the ability of a hand-held device to carry out testing in-situ brings a whole new range of benefits and opportunities.”


Well known in the USA since 1993 for its breath alcohol ignition interlock devices (BAIIDs), Smart Start also provides home alcohol monitoring with its IN-HOM® alcohol monitoring system. All Smart Start products are designed, engineered and manufactured in the United States. Smart Start is an industry leader in alcohol monitoring technology in the US and also serves clients in Europe, Latin America, New Zealand, and Australia.


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