Unlike conventional drug and alcohol tests, which require a blood or urine sample, kits supplied by Altrix collect a fluid sample from inside the cheek. This is then sent to its laboratory for analysis. Altrix’s main customers are 300 clinics across Britain, which use the kits to enforce drug rehabilitation programmes. To date, the company has raised more than £4m from investors, including business angels, Sitka Health Fund, a venture-capital trust, and Orasure Technologies, the American firm that holds the patents on the testing devices used by Altrix. Sales at the Warrington company grew 102% a year from £409,000 in 2000 to £3.4m in 2003.
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